While some of us are creaking our way towards the pension others are bounding along, seemingly without a care in the world apart from, of course, polishing up that portrait in the attic.  I’m referring to the evergreen Trish Johnson, who has just won the US Senior Women’s Open title at Waverley Country Club in Portland, Oregon.  That’s Trish, tired but happy, with the trophy in the pic at the top.

Trish has played in all five editions of this championship and had already recorded a couple of podium finishes.  She has always coveted a USGA title and she was certainly made to earn this one, squeaking home by a shot from Leta Lindley of the United States and by two from the redoubtable Scot Catriona Matthew.  There was nothing to choose between the three players over the ebb and flow of the final round but birdies by Johnson at the 15th and 16th gave her a cushion that absorbed a bogey at the 17th and allowed her a par at the last to seal her win.

Trish being congratulated by Helen Alfredsson.  Patricia Meunier-Lebouc is on hand with the champers. [USGA]

For those of you who are new-ish to the game (in other words, who’ve played for less than twenty years!) Trish has put together a formidable career, full of titles, success, grit and longevity.  I remember her first as a hugely talented, although somewhat volcanic-tempered,  16-year old playing in the British Amateur Strokeplay at Royal Norwich.  Her shotmaking skills were as breathtaking as her outbursts but I think we all realised how much trouble we’d be in once she learned to channel her energies in a positive way.  And we were right.

Amateur titles were followed by a professional career that included winning the Ladies’ European Tour Rookie of the Year award in 1987 and by 1990 she was Europe’s No 1 player.  In all, she amassed 18 LET victories, three on the the LPGA tour in America and was selected for eight Solheim Cup teams.  Easy to write in one sentence, but, like most sports people, Trish has weathered ups and downs, good times and bad, and the Madill households were not the only ones rejoicing at this latest victory.

Who knows, it might even put her in the spotlight for possible selection for next year’s Madill Trophy team!  Watch this space.

There is arguably other, more important, selecting going on at the moment with Solheim and Ryder Cup teams being seemingly finalised at every turn.  Stacy Lewis has named her picks for the US Solheim team and as the youngest-ever captain she will face a challenging task in Spain trying to prevent Europe from winning their third contest on the bounce.  For what it’s worth, I have a good feeling re Europe’s chances.

I’m not so sure about the Ryder Cup, however but do admit to feeling greatly cheered and a little more optimistic after Zach Johnson’s picks.  I’m relieved (as a dyed-in-the-wool European fan) that he didn’t pick Keegan Bradley who has a couple of wins this year, has been really consistent and has been passionate about his desire to make the team as his confidence has soared.

Bradley’s name doesn’t make Zach Johnson’s roster. [PGATOUR]

I’m also delighted that Zach DID pick Justin Thomas.  There’s no question that Thomas is a quality player but he is in a particularly rough patch at the moment and there hasn’t been much of a trend to suggest he’s coming out of it any time soon.  With only one top-five finish since February Thomas has had a sprinkling of missed cuts and scores in the 80s in the majors but Zach sees him as the emotional centre of the team and says, “You just don’t leave JT at home.”  Hmm, let’s see.

These are all good talking points, but that’s all they are.  Not long now to wait till the action and see how things play out on the course – the only place it actually matters.

And finally………

The sister took on the recent Open Championship venue, Royal Liverpool, the other day.  Have a look at her tackling the infamous par 3 17th hole, Little Eye, below.  Fingers crossed the link will work.

Ten seconds of ease and grace with a little bit of the Scottie Scheffler school of dancing thrown in.  But where do you think the ball ended up?  And what did she score on the hole?  If you’ve read Patricia’s blog, you’ll already know the answer.  Looks can be deceptive!

Have a good week.