It wasn’t exactly the day Brooke Henderson had in mind, but the Canadian will still hold a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the Amundi Evian Championship as she looks for her second major championship.
Henderson shot a 3-under 68 Saturday at the Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-Les-Baines, France. She sits at 17 under par through 54 holes. The four-round record for a major is 21 under.
Henderson’s lone major win came in 2016 at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She finished inside the top 20 in the first three majors this year and has 11 LPGA Tour titles in all, including the ShopRite Classic in June. No Canadian professional golfer has won more.
The native of Smiths Falls, Ont. bogeyed the par-4 first hole, but bounced back with three birdies on the front nine. She made just one birdie on her back nine, but was able to save plenty of mid-length pars.
“It wasn’t as good as the first two days, but … really hung in there,” Henderson told reporters. “Made some clutch par saves on the back nine, which felt nice. Not as many birdies on the card. Felt like the course was playing a little bit tougher for me today … Obviously great position going into Sunday, which is always a lot of fun.”
Henderson struggled off the tee, hitting just nine of 13 fairways. She also needed 30 putts, the most of any of her three rounds.
“Sometimes I tried to be aggressive and it worked out pretty well; other times I kind of just had to play safer, hit to the wide part of the greens.”
Henderson will be in the final group with So Yeon Ryu for Sunday’s final round. Ryu shot a 6-under 65 and is looking for her third career major title.
Sophia Schubert was third after a 5-under 66 that included birdies on her final four holes. Carlota Ciganda was tied for fourth at 12 under with Sei Young Kim.
World No. 1 Jin Young Ko was among a group of five golfers tied for fifth. Ko said she has long admired how Henderson plays.
“She always play well,” Ko said. “When I’m playing with her, she (is aggressive) and steady. I want to (follow) her.”
Albane Valenzuela shot the round of the day, 7-under 64.
In the first three majors of the season, the 54-hole leader went on to win. Jennifer Kupcho won the Chevron Championship by two, Minjee Lee by four at the U.S. Women’s Open, and In Gee Chun won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship by a single stroke.
At last year’s Evian, though, Lee rallied from seven shots back to capture her first major title. Henderson said she isn’t worried about the past: “Just going to play my game and see what happens.”
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