By Jeff Babineau
Brooke Henderson is a two-time champion at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and a big fan favorite in Grand Rapids, so it was a relief for her – and her fans – when she birdied her final hole on Friday afternoon to sneak inside the cutline.
Her reward was two more rounds on the weekend, and a chance to work on her game as she preps for this coming week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club, a tournament she won in 2016 (her first major). On Sunday she was in the first group off the 10th tee (two tees were needed because of an early finish on CBS) and played her best golf near the end of the round, making three birdies in four holes to shoot 69. She finished the event at 8-under 280.
“To make a little bit of a climb today – I kind of ‘maintained’ – that feels good,” said Henderson, who won at Blythefield in 2017 and 2019. “It was kind of scary there on Friday afternoon, and I’m so happy to play the weekend. I love playing here at the Meijer. The fans are incredible, and the atmosphere is a lot of fun. I have some good things to take forward with me.”
Henderson said she doesn’t know a whole lot about Baltusrol’s Lower Course, and will have plenty the learn over the coming days. Pretty much every big golf championship has been staged at the club, including men’s and women’s U.S. Opens as well as PGA Championships and U.S. Amateurs. (Mickey Wright won a U.S. Women’s Open in 1961, and Jack Nicklaus won two U.S. Opens there.)
“I’ve only heard amazing things about it,” Henderson said. “It’s a great opportunity for us girls, and it’s going to be a good challenge. So it was good to get a couple of extra rounds under my belt leading in, and I’m hoping for four solid rounds next week.”
All in all, Henderson believes her game is in pretty good shape as she heads to the season’s second major. Is there one area of her game she would like to dial up?
“I’m just not scoring right now. I’m hitting good shots and putting myself in position a lot of the time and just not getting the results,” Henderson said. “I just need to stay patient and stick with it a little bit … I know it will turn around here soon.”