Winning is never easy in professional sports and golf is no different.
On a day when she looked to be on her way to cracking open a huge lead at the Cambia Portland Classic, Brooke Henderson had a few stumbles. Fortunately she still ended up on top.
Seeking her third LPGA victory and a defence of the title she won in 2015, the Canadian posted a scrappy third round of 70 on Saturday. It gives her a two shot lead at -13 (65-68-70) with one round left on the schedule at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland. Mariajo Uribe is within 2 shots while Austin Ernst and Suzann Pettersen share third place at -9.
Henderson was cruising early on Saturday, going three-under par on the first ten holes of the day and creating space between herself and Suzann Pettersen and Mariajo Uribe as she reached 14 under par.
That path altered slightly when she hit a few errant shots, one on the demure 137 yard, par 3, 13th hole, where her tee shot found the water and left her with a double bogey.
She explained the error.
“I just didn’t really take my time too much on the tee shot. You know, kind of — I set my target and then just didn’t really commit to it, which is a problem for anybody, but especially for me. So I just mishit it. Unfortunately hit the bank and bounced back in. Would’ve been nice to get up and down there, but after that, you know, double is definitely in the question.”
Thankfully she was able to recover from the other poor shots and they did not leave any scars on her card. Even so, understandably she was not fully satisfied with the day.
“I played pretty awful today,” she commented afterward. “Definitely want to play better tomorrow. I mean, I hit a lot of good shots. I just didn’t capitalize on my chances. That was the first 12 holes for me. And then just really that one bad hole kind of changed things around a little bit. You know, get off to a fast start tomorrow and see what happens.”
Henderson did made a nice turn-around on the final par 3, the 16th, where there were only three birdies all day before she hit the flag with her tee shot and rolled in her 4th birdie of the round.
While she made some mistakes on the day Brooke managed to get into the clubhouse under par. It’s a good sign as she heads to Sunday. She is in good position for a win, and to close the gap just a little bit more in the Rolex World Rankings on World No. 1 Lydia Ko.
If Henderson should win this week she is projected to climb to second in the CME Race To The Globe season long points list. She is currently in 4th in that ranking.
The final group for round four of the Cambia Portland Classic (Brooke Henderson, Mariajo Uribe and Austin Ernst) will tee off at 11:15 PDT (2:15 EST).