Henderson Learns Some Lessons On A Tough Saturday

Brooke Henderson (Photo: Scott MacLeod, Flagstick.com)

By Chris Stevenson, The Rideau View Insider

ORLANDO, Fla. — Brooke Henderson took a bit of a tumble down the leaderboard Saturday at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.

That’s unlike the superstar from Smiths Falls, who started the day tied for the lead. Usually when she gets into contention she makes it tough on the opposition. Her 1-over-par 72 Saturday which left her tied for fifth at 8-under par had her going in the opposite direction of leaders Inbee Park (67, 13-under total) and Sei Young Kim (67, 11-under).

It wasn’t hard to pinpoint where the wheels started to wobble.

“I was pretty confident standing on the third tee,” Henderson said after birdieing the first hole. “We were back and forth between two clubs and chose the wrong one and it ended up sort of changing my whole day, which is unfortunate. Made double there and then bogey the next hole.”

One of things Henderson said she and her sister Brittany, who’s her caddie, will try and fix for the final round Sunday is their decision making. She said they didn’t do a good job of coping with the breezy conditions.

“Going into tomorrow just try to hit smart shots,” she said. “It was really windy today. It was just hard to judge, at least we found it that way. Hopefully make some smarter decisions (Sunday), give ourselves some good looks for birdies and hopefully jump up the leaderboard a little bit.”

After also make bogey on the seventh hole, Henderson scratched back with birdies on 10 and 11, but flubbed a pitch on the par-4 15th and had to make a slippery six footer bogey. A birdie-par finish made dinner taste a little better (the raucous 18th with tunes blasting on the tee is no joke: it’s the final 211 yards over water on a course that was playing 6,494 yards Saturday).

Henderson agreed that rather than file the round away as one of those days, there were some lessons to be learned.

“You probably learn more on days like today. They’re harder to take, that’s for sure, but I do think moving forward we’ll learn from some of the decisions we made,” she said. “I feel like we fought really hard. Nothing seemed to go my way too much today. It was a good fight out there and hopefully tomorrow, a few more birdies.

“I feel like I’m hitting it really well. If we can just finish it off strong tomorrow and jump up the leaderboard a little bit we’ll be really happy with how this week went overall. It’s a good feeling to be in contention so early in the year. I feel like my game is right where I left it in November and in some aspects even better which is a good feeling.”

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