BOSTON, Mass – Jill McGill has won the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, on the first time of playing – collecting her first professional win and third USGA championship title.
With the South Course at NCR Country Club at its brilliant and challenging best, McGill closed with an even-par 73 on a day when no one broke par to win the U.S. Senior Women’s Open by one stroke over Leta Lindley at three-under-par 289 in her first year of eligibility for the championship.
“That sounds amazing,” McGill said when introduced as the champion. “I love the USGA. I’ve loved it ever since I got spanked in my very first Junior Girls by Brandie Burton. That was a welcome to competitive golf.”
U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links
McGill, who won the 1993 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the 1994 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, joins Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, JoAnne Carner and Carol Semple Thompson as the only players to win three different USGA championships. The triumph also earned her an exemption into next year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach.
“I’ll have to set my schedule now,” said McGill when told about the exemption to Pebble Beach. “I look forward to it. That place is heaven on earth.”
McGill, who was paired with Annika Sorenstam in the final round on Sunday, also played with Sorenstam in the final round of the 2002 U.S. Women’s Open at Prairie Dunes. McGill began that day two strokes off Sorenstam’s lead but started bogey-bogey on her way to a 78 as Juli Inkster closed with a 66 to win by two strokes over Sorenstam.
This time, it was McGill who got the best of Sorenstam, the defending champion who was briefly tied with Laura Davies, the 2018 champ, and Helen Alfredsson, who won in 2019, for the final-round lead after a birdie on the first. But Sorenstam, who had trouble finding consistency all week, fell back with three consecutive bogeys beginning on the third and shot 77.
Meanwhile, McGill stayed focused on her own game.
“I knew at the turn I was a couple back, and from that point on, I really had no idea. I knew that I was close when I made a couple of birdies. I was disappointed with that bogey on 17. I tried not to focus on it. All I could do was what I could do, and whatever everybody else was doing was what they were doing.”