Dethroned Scottish Ladies Open champion Catriona Matthew is hoping her game will be back in line for the final major of the season.
The North Berwick woman finished joint-13th in the Aberdeen Asset Management-sponsored event at Archerfield Links, where she’d claimed the same title twice in the previous three years. Her 77 on Saturday was bereft of birdies – a rare occurrence for the former Women’s British Open champion.
And, though a closing 70 was “better”, Matthew took the shine off that effort with a “couple of silly three putts on the back nine”.
The 45-year-old now has a week off before heading to France for the $3.25 million Evian Championship.
“I’ll get some practice in and try to sharpen up my irons in particular,” said Matthew. “My alignment sometimes gets out when I play in windy conditions, as we had here for the opening two rounds.”
Her title was claimed by another player with vast experience as Englishwoman Trish Johnson made amends for twice missing out on victory in previous stagings of the event on the East Lothian coast.
“I think this tournament owes me one,” said Johnson, who led by six with a round to play and closed with a one-over 73 for a seven-under 209 and a two stroke-victory over the 2008 champion, Gwladys Nocera from France. “If I’d thrown this one away, with a six-shot lead, I would have been pretty gutted.”
It was Johnson’s second career victory on Lothians soil, having been in the first European team to win the Solheim Cup at Dalmahoy in 1992.
“I expect to win every week but not this week as my back was so bad in the build up,” added the 48-year-old after becoming the oldest winner on the Ladies European Tour.
“I had no expectations, really - it is a just a ridiculously stupid game at times.”
Former Murrayfield member Sally Watson finished as leading Scot in joint-third after a closing 70 to maintain her lead in the Rookie of the Year race.
Musselburgh’s Vikki Laing signed off with a 73 – her best score of the week – but finished joint-50th.