KUALA LUMPUR — Canada’s Brooke Henderson recovered from a horror four-putt double bogey early in the final round of the Evian golf Championship to win her second major by one shot.
Henderson, who started the day with a two-shot lead, made the turn at two-over par before three birdies on the back nine — which included a decisive 12-foot putt on the 18th — allowed her to win the title after carding 17-under overall.
“After I sunk that putt, I looked at my sister, Brittany, and said: ‘did we really do this?’“ Henderson said.
“It was definitely an interesting day and not the start I wanted, but I stayed patient. I knew going into the back nine, the saying is that majors are won on the back nine.
“So I tried to stay in it and make a few birdies. The birdie on 18 was really nice… I’m super excited to have my second major championship and my 12th win on Tour.”
Henderson, who won the 2016 women’s PGA Championship, edged American Sophia Schubert (16-under) to win the $1 million cheque while five others were tied for third, a further shot behind.
“It was very difficult,” said Henderson, who shot even-par 71 in the final round. “It was a long day and I put myself in a position I didn’t really want to be in. Started off kind of poorly. But to be able to bounce back on the back nine means a lot.”
Henderson snap-hooked her drive on the par-5 18th, then knocked a wedge in tight and made birdie for the win, letting out a big breath of relief before getting showered with champagne.
Sophia Schubert, ranked 283rd in the world, finished second at 16-under 268 after missing a birdie try from about 15 feet on the par-5 18th. Five golfers shared third at 15 under, including Japan’s Mao Saigo, whose 7-under 64 was tied for low round of the day.
Henderson was 3 over through 11 holes and admitted later she thought the day could go either way. At that point, Brittany reminded her that she was still firmly in contention. “That was a really important message to get through my head,” said Henderson.
Meanwhile, Dave Henderson, Brooke’s father and coach, was back home at a cottage near Ottawa watching the drama unfold. As a dad, he said he was “proud and supportive.” As a coach, he was “nervous and anxious” like everyone else.
“She did not have her A game — she said that — but she hung in there, and that says a lot about her character,” Dave Henderson told the Star. “That’s why there are 72 holes. You could say she struggled near the beginning, but you have to look at the big picture. Not all hockey games are won in the first period.”
Henderson’s recent success — she also won last month’s ShopRite LPGA Classic — has come after some time off earlier in the season. She withdrew from the Lotte Championship in April because of illness, then missed two cuts in Los Angeles before heading home to Smiths Falls for an extended break.