2nd Portland Win “A Big Step” For Brooke Henderson; More Golf Olympian Withdrawals

w/ Chris Stevenson, The Rideau View Golf Insider

The Cambia Portland Trophy is Brooke's for another year
The Cambia Portland Trophy is Brooke’s for another year

The most impressive thing for me about Brooke Henderson’s third LPGA Tour win is she did it without having her “A” game.

The 18-year-old struggled on the weekend at the Cambia Portland Classic – as did the other contenders in the lead pack – but Henderson managed to make some key par putts that kept her ahead of her pursuers. When Mariajo Uribe finished with back-to-back double bogeys, Henderson had final round 71 and a four-shot win over American Stacy Lewis, who finished with a 69.

Uribe had a 75, Suzann Pettersen a 72, Austin Ernst a 73 … all the contenders fired and fell back.

Henderson’s usually reliant ball-striking left her at times on the weekend. She hit only 22 of 36 greens in regulation on the weekend but still managed to play the weekend 3-under par (she hit 16/18 greens in her opening round 65).

That’s some pretty good scrambling and putting. She needed only 54 putts on the weekend.

That’s a pretty big step in Henderson’s game, that she can find a way to grind it out, keep from getting too frustrated and find a way to make putts. Her short game has been a focus in practice and it’s paying off.

• • •

With the Olympic teams being named next Monday, July 11, Hideki Matsuyama, the 17th ranked player in the world from Japan, has withdrawn his name from consideration, citing Zika concerns.

He joins world No. 1 Jason Day of Australia, Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (4), Australia’s Adam Scott (8), Brenden Grace (10), Louis Oosthuizen (14), and Charles Schwartzel (22), all of South Africa, Ireland’s Shane Lowry (26), Australia’s Marc Leishman (44), Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell (78), and Fiji’s Vijay Singh (115) on the list of players skipping the Olympics because of Zika or scheduling concerns.

That’s four of the top 10 players on the men’s side and six of the top 25.

Interesting that on the women’s side, who you would think would have at least or more concerns with the Zika situation, there has been only one player withdraw so far: Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa.

Canada’s Graham DeLaet, 144th in the world, said he’s in: “It would be special. This is the first time in over a hundred years that golf is back in the Olympics and I want to be there.”

David Hearn is ranked 124th and would make up Canada’s team with Hearn.

Rideau View member Brad Fritsch, who would be the second alternate at this point behind Adam Hadwin, withdrew his name from consideration.

You can check out who is currently qualified for the Olympic men’s tournament here:http://www.igfgolf.org/olympic-games/qualification-system/ogr-men/

The women’s rankings are here: http://www.igfgolf.org/olympic-games/qualification-system/ogr-women/

Follow me on Twitter: @CJ_Stevenson

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