The first round of the 2023 Senior LPGA Championship was suspended due to weather at 3:19 PM ET after several delays throughout the day. When play resumed at 9 a.m. ET Friday, the weather was almost the opposite of the day before. With little to no wind and blistering heat, the field of 72 had a long day of golf ahead of them from the moment the first ball was struck.
As round one concluded, Audra Burks was alone on top after posting a 69 (-3) that included six birdies. After clearing a round, the Arkansas native didn’t want another blemish on his card. She would rattle off four birdies on her back nine to take a one-shot lead heading into round two. Burks first qualified for the LPGA Tour after finishing third on the Epson Tour money list in 1999. In her LPGA Tour career, Burks finished in the top 10 five times and will look to add a 2023 Senior LPGA Championship to her resume.
“I’m in survival mode, that’s all,” Burks said. “I’m just trying to save as much energy as possible and get around as best I can. The golf course is in good shape considering the breath, so hats off to the greens team out here. Playing 36 holes today will be a challenge and probably the first time I’ve done that since I was on the LPGA Tour.”
After a long Friday, the second round of the 2023 Senior LPGA Championship has concluded. As the sun set on Sultan’s Run Golf Club, two familiar names made their way to the top of the leaderboard heading into the final round.
Trish Johnson produced the best round of the tournament so far with a 6-under (66) that included seven birdies. Johnson found his groove on No. 4, making all seven birdies in a ten-hole stretch that ended with a string of threes on No. 13. The London native moved the lead to 8-under for the tournament, but is aware of the is anything but over.
“There’s still a long way to go tomorrow,” Johnson said. “I mean, Webby (Karrie Webb) is only three behind right now; I’m not counting any of my chicks at all. I’m just going to go and put out another low round because the more Webby plays, the better she’s going to be , so I’ve got to get to at least -10. I’ll just have to play well again tomorrow.”
Johnson already has two Stephen L. Ferguson trophies in her collection and will look to add a third when she moves from No. 18 tomorrow. With a win, Johnson would have won half of the Senior LPGA Championships that have been contested. She attributes her excellent play this week to her putting, which is the part of her game she has dedicated most of her time to.
“I think when I putt well, and I putt very well, I’m hard to beat,” Johnson said. “I did a lot of work last week, just put a lot of hours into the studio and I think I’m reaping the rewards because of that.”
Karrie Webb will try to track down Johnson when the final round starts early Saturday morning. Webb starts the day three shots back after a second-round 68 (-4) moved her to -5 for the tournament. With a win, Webb would be the first player to win back-to-back Senior LPGA Championships and tie Johnson with two trophies. It was a long day on the course for the seven-time major champion, but she tried to stay within striking distance with 18 holes to play.
“I can’t remember the last time I played 32 holes in one day,” Webb said. “I’m glad we had carts because it’s hot and this course is definitely a challenge. Trish made a lot of putts and I just didn’t want to fall too far behind.”
Jackie Gallagher-Smith made a jump up the leaderboard in her second round. The Indiana native signed for a 67 (-5) to move her into a tie for fourth at -3 for the tournament. Gallagher-Smith won once on the LPGA Tour at the 1999 Giant Eagle LPGA Classic. She will need another low round to catch the leaders, and she will have the support of the Indiana crowd when she hits her first tee shot on Saturday.
“I mean, I’m back home,” Gallagher-Smith said. “I felt really good out there, especially in the second round. I got into a rhythm with my irons and I hit them really well with good distance control. I feel like I was more aggressive in the second round and just had a good time. speak for my clubs. I’ll see what I can do tomorrow.”
Becky Morgan rounds out the top of the leaderboard for the 2023 Senior LPGA Championship, currently T2 at -5 for the tournament. Due to expected inclement weather, the final round of the 2023 Senior LPGA Championship will be a two-tee start on Saturday, July 1, with participants playing in groups of three. Tee times will go off in a reverse horseshoe fashion based on the player’s score after the second round. The game starts at 7:30 a.m. ET from both the 1st and 10th tees, with the leaders teeing off in the final group on hole No. 1, which is expected at 9:20 a.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased at www.sultansrun.com/2023-senior-lpga-championship. Single-day tickets are $15.