As a co-leader after 36 holes, the opportunity existed for Brooke Henderson to add a second KPMG Women’s PGA Championship to her resume. Instead she had to settle for another top-ten.
For the fourth consecutive year Henderson finished inside the top six at this major championship. She stumbled in with a 74 on Sunday to share 6th place and miss a three-way playoff by four shots. The margin? She made four bogies on the day. It was not the finish she was looking for at the Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer, Illinois – just outside Chicago.
On her way to posting 67-71-70-74, Henderson was off her game in the closing round. With her driver normally being the weapon that helps her excel over her competitors she hit just four fairways on Sunday. She was clearly frustrated by her play. After a greenside wedge shot ran too far past the hole for her liking on the 11th hole, she buried the club into her bag, snapping the shaft in two.
And the putts, they continued to pile up.
After only needing 25 putts on Thursday, the Smiths Falls pro required 31, 32, and 33, respectively, over the closing three rounds, even as she continued to hit 13-15 greens in regulation. It was a long way from her back nine score of 30 on Friday when every putt seemed to find the hole. She said at he time, “I felt very confident with it, felt like I could make good strokes, and I felt like I was seeing the line well, too, which all those things are great things to see it well.”
That all seemed to change after that. The new version of the PING Craze-E putter she added to her bag this week marks a handful of putters she has used this year. It’s lifespan may be in doubt.
That said, she may have been disappointed, but Henderson’s ability to continue her unmatched streak of top 6 finishes at this championship over four years it still notable.
We’ll see how she responds to this finish in the weeks ahead.
If she wants to wins more majors she’ll need to figure out her play on the greens, and that may need to go beyond an equipment change.
2017 CP Canadian Open champion Sung Hyun Park won the championship on the second playoff hole. It is her second major championship after winning the 2017 United States Women’s Open Championship.
Canadians Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbooke finished in a share of 31st, Brittany Marchand tied for 60th, while Alena Sharp earned a split of 68th place.