Trish Johnson wins French play-off

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Trish Johnson claimed her 20th career title by beating Italy’s Diana Luna in a play-off at the Open de France Féminin.

England’s Trish Johnson claimed her 20th career title on Sunday when she beat Italy’s Diana Luna on the first play-off hole at the Open de France Féminin.

Johnson entered the final round with a four stroke lead, but finished tied with Luna (67) at 14 under 274 after a disappointing round of 74 at the Paris International Golf Club.

Luna missed her 12 foot birdie putt on the first play-off hole, the par-five 18th, and this allowed Johnson to claim her second title of the season by rolling in a three-foot birdie putt.

It was Johnson’s third Open de France victory after wins in 1997 and 1999 and she said: “There’s something about France. I don’t know what it is.”

Hannah Jun of the United States and Germany’s Caroline Masson tied for third on 12-under after rounds of 69 and 72 respectively.

England’s Laura Davies, the second round leader, finished alone in fifth after a 71 left her trailing at 11-under-par.

Davies was out in four-under 32 after an eagle and two birdies on the front nine and she then caught Johnson at 15-under with a birdie at the 10th hole. However she ran into trouble when she hit her second shot into the trees and found herself in a terrible lie in the rough behind the 11th green.

Two chips and three putts later gave here a triple bogey seven from which she never recovered. Johnson was out in 37 and three shots clear of Luna after 14 holes but bogeyed the 15th and 17th.

“I had a brain storm on 17 and hit a great shot to six feet and then three putted,” explained Johnson. “On 18, I couldn’t get up and down from the bunker, but it all turned out alright in the end.

“I didn’t struggle, but as fantastic as my putting was yesterday, it was absolutely appalling today. I don’t know what happened overnight. I knew it was going to be difficult to go out and putt as well as that and play as well and that and obviously on the front nine Laura (Davies) made a real challenge. I certainly thought she was the one to beat and then she got a horrible lie on 11 and that just did her in unfortunately.

“If you lose it because you three-putt from six-feet you need your head testing. I think it was just relief more than anything else emotional that I didn’t mess it up.”

With her winnings of €37,500, Johnson moved to seventh on the Ladies European Tour’s Henderson Money List, while South African Lee-Anne Pace remained in pole position after finishing alone in sixth place.

The Tour moves to Spain next week for the Open de Espana Femenino, which is the final event of the season on European soil.

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