On the eve of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Laura Shanahan-Rowe was asked about the state of her golf game.
“It’s coming around,” she said. “I’m hoping it will peak for it. I’ve been working on it pretty steadily all spring.”
She ended up falling one shot short of playing the weekend.
Though her focus these days is instruction as the teaching pro at Sagamore Golf Center, the 58-year-old Hampton resident was hoping to show off her game at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill., during a historic, first-time USGA championship for players 50-and-older, one flush with the names of players who dominated the LPGA Tour in the 1970s and ‘80s
Her rounds of 5-over par 78 and 81 (159) left her in a tie for 56th out of 120 players. The top 50 players and ties made the cut to play the third and fourth rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
Laura Davies and Trish Johnson recovered from rough spells early in their rounds Friday to share the lead at the midpoint. Both stand at 4-under par 142 heading into the weekend.
"I said to Laura yesterday, you have a chance to win if you don't make doubles," Johnson said. "And, of course, I made a double today and you've got to keep those off your card."
Davies slipped back to even par for the tournament with her double-bogey at No. 11 after starting on the back nine. She fell back to par again later on her first nine before running together a stretch of four birdies in six holes to finish with her second straight 71.
"I had a bit of a rude awakening on my second hole," Davies said. "Three-putt for a double bogey, so that was a nasty start."
One of the longer hitters in her days on the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour, Davies didn't really need the extra distance provided by rock-hard fairways on the ancient prairie-style links.
It helped just the same. And she still seems to have trademark length off the tee like when she was younger.
"It's about the same," Davies said. "The equipment is that much better than it was 20 years ago."
Johnson is attempting to follow up last year's victory in the PGA Senior Women's Championship with a win in another new major senior tournament.
Shanahan-Rowe missed the cut by a stroke, but her company at 13-over wasn’t anything to sneeze at: former LPGA winners Cindy Rarick, Jan Stephenson and Suzy Whaley.
Portsmouth native Jane Blalock, 72, a 27-time winner on the LPGA Tour, whose Legends Tour has given many of these players a circuit to compete on these last 15 years, shot 84-91 to finish 110th.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.