Written By: Ron Sirak@ronsirak
FRENCH LICK, IND. – Helen Alfredsson is the unquestioned queen of the senior circuit. The mercurial Swede outplayed one of the legends of the game and outlasted grueling weather on Wednesday to capture the Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank by three strokes over Hall of Famer Juli Inkster.
Alfie’s victory on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick gave her a sweep of the senior majors this year, adding the Senior LPGA Championship to the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, matching a feat accomplished by Laura Davies last year. Alfie’s victory on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick gave her a sweep of the senior majors this year, adding the Senior LPGA Championship to the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, matching a feat accomplished by Laura Davies last year.
Senior LPGA Championship’s Charitable Contributions to Riley Hospital for Children Surpass $1 Million Mark
Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort Gives Back to Patients, Families of “Riley Kids”
When it comes to charitable giving, golf has long been recognized as the most prolific supporter among all professional sports in the United States. The $3 billion-plus professional golf has presented to worthy causes is a humbling figure, but the real inspiration comes in meeting the beneficiaries of such support. At the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort, which was held for the third consecutive year this week, a special legacy flourishes between the tournament, the resort, the community and the families of the benefitting charity, the Riley Hospital for Children. At this week’s tournament, the hospital received $200,000 and surpassed the lifetime $1-million-dollar mark in charitable donations from the event.
All week long, the Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank showcased a prevailing sense of camaraderie and community by the presence of the nearly two dozen Riley Kids (patients and former patients of the hospital) who were invited to partake in the week’s festivities with their families. Some of the Riley Kids also spent time announcing the pros on the first tee during the golf tournament, others shared their stories at the Pro-Am pairings party, others had the opportunity to caddie for players or just meet and socialize with the legends of the women’s game.
“French Lick Resort has been an amazing champion of the Riley Children’s Foundation. Making these brave kids and their families a focal point during the Senior LPGA has provided immeasurable inspiration and a deeper connection with the fans and community,” says Brad Moritz, senior corporate gift officer for Riley Hospital for Children. “The Riley Kids and their families are treated like royalty when they’re at that incredible resort and their gratitude and positive attitudes leave a lasting impression on everyone they meet.”
Three-time cancer survivor and former Indianapolis University golfer Ashtyn Brown, who has worked in television production and now has her sights on studying to become a radiologist, was also on hand at during the event hit the ceremonial first shot this week.
“The patients and their families got to be a part of something special and the people they meet walk away with a deep, unforgettable appreciation for the work the Riley Hospital for Children does for so many children in our Indiana communities and beyond,” says Joe Vezzoso, vice president of sales for French Lick Resort.
Founded in 1924, the Riley Hospital impacts all 92 counties in Indiana and is Indiana’s only comprehensive pediatric research hospital, with expert physicians in every pediatric specialty handling more than 300,000 patient visits per year. Riley is among the top pediatric research hospitals in the nation, thanks to its partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine. Riley researchers are working on new treatments and cures for a wide variety of childhood illnesses including: cancer, heart defects, neurological disorders, asthma, cystic fibrosis and diabetes. The funds raised from the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort are earmarked for direct patient care.
In the Winner’s Circle with Helen Alfredsson
Oct. 16, 2019
Hometown/Resides: Gothenburg, Sweden/Orlando, Fla.
Birthdate: April 9, 1965; currently 54 years, six months and seven days
Turned Professional: 1989
With her win at the Senior LPGA Championship, Alfredsson wins back-to-back senior majors in 2019; she won the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club
With her win at the French Lick Resort, Alfredsson takes home the $100,000 first-place prize. The purse was increased to $650,000 in 2019.
PREVIOUS SENIOR LPGA CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
2017 – T3; 2018 – T2
- This is Alfredsson’s 25th professional win worldwide
- She has seven career wins and one major championship title on the LPGA Tour
- She is now a two-time senior major champion with her title at the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open and 2019 Senior LPGA Championship
- Alfredsson is an eight-time European Solheim Cup Team member and was captain in 2007
- She was the 1989 Ladies European Tour (LET) Rookie of the Year, 1992 LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year and earned the 1998 LET Order of Merit title
- Alfredsson announced her retirement from the LPGA Tour in 2013; with over $5 million in career earnings
- Alfredsson is married to former NHL player Kent Nilsson
NOTABLE QUOTES – 2019 CHAMPION HELEN ALFREDSSON
On what it takes to play the Pete Dye Course:
“My last round before I came here was at Bethpage Black and that was a difficult golf course….This is not an easy test either when there’s weather like this, with so many difficult areas where the ball falls off and you have to be very specific where you’re at and where you hit your irons. It starts at the tee, because if you aren’t good on the tee, then your iron shots are going to be more difficult.”
What it is like while playing in windy conditions:
“The more crazy things are around, the more I seem to focus. When things are just, not too bad or not too difficult, I’m always like, ‘Oh, it’s going to work out somehow.’”….I hate to say I prefer the other way of playing, when it’s nice and its sunny, but you know what, it is what it is, and I’m super happy to be where I am, here right now.”
On preparing for competitive play:
“When you’re out here, something happens. I don’t really play at home as much. I mean, when I compete I always try to do my best and when I practice I still try to practice with perfection and being focused…I always play with boys and from the back tees so it helps.”
On what it’s like to return to the Senior LPGA Championship:
“I love to see all the girls. I’m so grateful and I think we all are very grateful for these senior events. We all get together and have an awesome time. It’s so funny – everybody comes and something happens, and the competitive juice starts pumping. But it’s a little bit easier, and we reminisce. It’s just a very nice time.”