FRENCH LICK, Ind., Aug. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The longest playoff in the 16-year history of The Legends Tour and the first in the Legends Championship's four-year run at French Lick Resort was epic, no doubt about it.
England's Trish Johnson battled defending champion Juli Inkster through six extra holes on Sunday before an Inkster letdown handed the title and $37,700 first prize to Johnson.
"I wish I could say I enjoyed that, but I really didn't,'' said Johnson. "It was a battle for survival at the end.''
Indeed, it was, just like the final round of a year ago when Inkster – making her Legends Tour debut – overtook Johnson with three birdies on the last five holes. There were some similarities this time.
Johnson and Inkster were in a three-way tie with Becky Iverson at the start of the day. Johnson's early birdies gave her a three-stroke lead on the field, but she got nervous after three-putting at No. 6.
"I totally lost my confidence,'' she said. "After that I didn't feel comfortable at all.''
Still, she retained her three-stroke edge at the turn and another birdie at No. 10 put Johnson up four shots with eight holes to play. The tournament was far from over at that point.
Despite her big lead, Johnson was in danger of losing the title in the regulation 36-holes when Inkster – playing in the next-to-the-last twosome in front of Johnson -- made a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to get to 5-under-par for the tournament. That pulled her into a tie for the lead and Johnson and to scramble for a par to force the playoff.
Both players had their chances to win in the extra session. Johnson had a 12-foot birdie putt hit the hole and spin out on the second extra hole and Inkster had a 10-footer that did the same on the fourth.
After both players made pars on the first five holes Inkster cracked first. She hit her second shot on the dogleg right par-5 into the heather and it took a small search party to find it. She had to take an unplayable lie, adding a stroke. Then Johnson ended the playoff by two-putting for another par.
The Honors Division, for seven players 63 and over, again went to Jan Stephenson.
To view full field scores, visit www.thelegendstour.com.
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SOURCE French Lick Resort