Regina, Saskatchewan – Brooke Henderson has the best seat in the house at the CP Women’s Open. She is the leader after 54 holes. The only thing better? The same position at the end of the tournament, which would make her only the second Canadian to win the women’s professional national open, and the first in 45 years.
On a day marked by cooler temperatures and gusting winds, the 20 year-old star from Smiths Falls, Ontario set the table for the possibility, posting a third round of 70 (-2) to give her a one shot lead at -14 overall as she heads to the final stanza at the Wascana Country Club. Trailing just behind are Nasa Hataoka of Japan and Angel Yin of the United States. The three will be paired together on Sunday, teeing off at 9:01 am CST.
Brooke’s round had its share of highlights, but none better than the three birdies in a row she crafted on holes #12-14 that pushed her into a two-shot lead. Unfortunately a three-putt bogey on #17 cut the advantage in half.
That said, she likes her position heading into tomorrow one stroke ahead of the field, and hoping she can improve on her Saturday play with the ultimate result.
“That’s pretty sweet. Coming into this week, if you would have told me that, I would have been very excited. I’m definitely in a good position heading into the final round, which is very exciting, and I feel like these crowds this week have been totally amazing, and I’ve been playing well for them, so I’m happy about that. Hopefully I can just go out and get close to that 6-under round, not so close to this 2-under round that I had today. But the conditions have changed a lot over the course of the week, and today it played really tough, and I think you can see that on the leaderboard, as well. People were having some trouble with it. Hopefully go out tomorrow, make a lot of birdies, and just kind of see what happens.”
Not Over Yet
As a six-time winner with 32 career top-ten finishes Brooke knows that LPGA tournaments do not always play out like heroic movie-scripts. Becoming the only Canadian besides Jocelyne Bourassa in 1973 to win the CP Women’s Open (then called La Canadienne) will not be easy.
“It’s definitely a long way from that. There’s like a million players within like five shots (17 at -9 or better, in fact), so I definitely have to play my best and hopefully go low.”
How low? Brooke definitely has a number in mind, maybe in line with the 63 she shot last Sunday in Indianapolis. If the weather cooperates.
“If it’s similar to today, I think I’ll probably have to shoot 4- or 5-under, but if it goes back to kind of the calm conditions that it was earlier in the week, then it will have to be a lot better than that.”
Wet and cool weather is looming for the tournament on Sunday, which has caused the Tour to move up the tee times. If it comes in early and the final round is not a pleasant conditions birdie-fest, Brooke has a plan for that as well.
“I won in New Zealand last year, and it was exactly that. (cool and windy) So I definitely have something to think back on. But I think I’ll just kind of have to grind it out tomorrow, just take whatever the course gives you.”
She added, “But it’s an amazing accomplishment to be this far, but I’m not done yet, so hopefully I can just have a great night, restful, sleep well, and then wake up tomorrow ready to go.”
Two other Canadians are still in play in Regina besides Henderson. Alena Sharp and Anne-Catherine Tanguay each posted their own scores of 70 (-2) on Saturday and are in a share of 29th place at -5 overall.