(Rancho Mirage, California) – Another putt that fell left of the hole robbed Brooke Henderson from a chance to extend the playoff at the LPGA’s ANA Inspiration on Sunday. The 23 year-old from Smiths Falls, Ontario rallied to get into the extra stanza with Nelly Korda and Mirim Lee, but it was Lee who prevailed on the first extra hole with a birdie.
Korda and Henderson were overnight co-leaders at the major championship but were upstaged by Lee who chipped in three times during her final round, two of those within the last three holes. That helped her set the clubhouse mark of -15 that was eventually matched by Korda and Henderson.
During her final round Henderson had several putting efforts miss on the left side of the hole but she managed to tie for the regulation lead thanks to two birdies on the last three holes. They made up for the double bogey she suffered on the 13th hole.
The Canadian pro pointed to her putting as the difference maker on the week. Despite it she was somewhat pleased with the effort.
“I definitely played really well this week, which is definitely a really nice feeling and definitely gives me confidence moving forward,” she shared after play concluded. “Mirim played great today and so did Nelly. It was fun. You’re playing against the best in the world out there, and it’s tough to lose that way.
She added, “I felt like I missed a lot of putts, especially those final rounds where I feel like maybe it could have been a different story, but Mirim and Nelly played great, and I really fought my way around, so I’m happy.”
This was the best showing for Henderson at the ANA Inspiration, an event she first played in as an amateur in 2014. Her previous best finish was a tie for 10th place in 2016, one of her ten top-ten major finishes to date. Her playoff record in majors now sits at 1-1; she prevailed the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2016.
Mirim Lee in now a three-time LPGA winner. It is the first major championship for the 29 year-old from Korea. She becomes the 17th player from her country to win a major, dating back to Se Ri Pak who was the first in 1998.
With her share of second place Henderson is expected to rise to 15th in the Race To The CME Globe. She entered the week in a share of 55th in the season LPGA points race after a season of limited starts.
She is also likely to climb slightly from her current #9 ranking in the Rolex World Rankings.
Fellow Canadian Alena Sharp posted a 69 (-3) on Sunday to climb into a share of 40th place.
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