Brooke Henderson finishes third round on a tear at CP Women’s Open

Defending champ sits just two shots back of co-leaders

Brooke Henderson follows through on her drive at the CP Women's Open. She shot 9-under thru 10 holes to remain within striking distance.  Courtesy: Bernard Brault / Golf Canada

AURORA, Ont. – Brooke Henderson roared back into contention at the CP Women’s Open Golf Championship on Saturday, firing seven birdies and an eagle over a 10 hole stretch. 

The defending champ finished just two strokes behind co-leaders Nicole Broch Larsen and world number one, Jin Young Ko.

Henderson credited the crowd for helping her move as their energy helped spark one of the hottest runs of her career. 

“I can’t really remember the last time I was in the 20s through nine holes,” said the nine-time LPGA winner. “If I can kind of try to keep this momentum that I had on the last few holes, hopefully hit it a little bit better off the tee, hit it a little closer, (then) hopefully my putter can bail me out.”

Magna Golf Club was buzzing once again as the 21-year-old attracted the largest gallery the tournament has seen all weekend. It was hard to ignore if you were one of the others competing. 

“I heard every hole’s crowd in the front group, Brooke’s group,” Ko said. “I know she’s Canadian, so for sure they cheered every hole or shot for Brooke.”

In the group ahead of Henderson, they couldn’t help but laugh about the noise as well. 

“It was fun playing with Brooke behind us cause we just heard cheer after cheer,” said American golfer, Amy Olson. “We were joking, ‘Did she just hole out? No, she probably just hit the green.’”

Amidst all the commotion, Ko and Broch Larsen seemed to play in their own bubble as the two faced off in Saturday’s final pairing. 

Ko played a bogey-free round shooting seven-under 65, and Broch Larsen maintained her form from the first two rounds, carding her third round in a row at six-under 66. The two finished tied at 18-under. 

“She probably only hit one bad shot today,” said the Denmark native. “I felt like she was just striping it and made some good long putts. We definitely kept each other in it.”

Outside of the top three, there was another storyline developing as four Americans were vying for the final three qualifying spots on the 12-person U.S. Solheim Cup team (the women’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup). 

Massachusetts native Brittany Altomare came into the tournament as the eighth and final qualifier via the U.S. points list. After carding a one-under 71, she has essentially secured her spot on the team heading into Sunday T22. 

For those who don’t make the top eight, there are two additional roster spots allocated to the highest ranked Americans. The remaining two spots are captain’s picks.

Angel Yin, 20, is ranked 32nd in the world and has a sizeable lead over the next closest candidate. Heading into Sunday at 11-under, she has all but guaranteed a trip to Scotland, host of the 2019 Solheim Cup.

Amy Olson follows her tee shot landing 10-feet to the pin. She ended up birdieing the par-3, 8th hole. (Wesley Cheng / Toronto Observer)

The battle for the final spot comes down to Olson (No. 50) and Annie Park (No. 42).

Even though Park ended Thursday as the day one leader, she’s gone four-over in the last two days and is currently T52. 

Olson on the other hand is T5 and has been consistent the entire tournament shooting 68 all three rounds. At 12-under she’ll overtake Park for the final American roster spot, her first ever Solheim Cup appearance, if she can remain there.

“The Rolex rankings are really confusing to me,” she said jokingly. “If I play good golf, I figure everything will take care of itself.”

The North Dakota native will tee off at 11:04am playing just ahead of Henderson once again. 

The Canadian will play alongside Ko and Broch Larsen in the final group at 11:15am for what is shaping up to be a nail-biting climax to the weekend. 

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Posted: Aug 24 2019 8:16 pm
Filed under: Golf Sports