ORLANDO, Fla. — A bogey-free final round saw Canada’s Brooke Henderson finish second at the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions on Sunday.
Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., finished three strokes behind winner Danielle Kang of the U.S. – the best finish for the Canadian across her four Tournament of Champions appearances.
Despite her 60th bogey-free round since 2016 – and second in as many days – Henderson managed just two birdies on a blustery, cool day at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. She also missed a few putts where she was forced to settle for par.
“Wasn’t really the day I was looking for,” Henderson said. “At the same time, you grind it out pretty well, and was happy to make two birdies. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. Still proud of how we played out there today in those tough conditions.
“I came into this week thinking I had put in some solid work in the off-season, so it’s nice to see that it’s paying off. Hopefully, I can use this momentum over the next couple of weeks and get a couple more top finishes.”
Henderson opened the tournament with a 69 on Thursday. She followed that up with back-to-back rounds of 68 on Friday and Saturday. The Canadian was two strokes back going into Sunday’s final round.
She finished at 13-under 275.
“For the most part, I think I did a lot of things really well,” she said. “It was nice to get up and down as many times as I did, and even a couple of times when I hit the green, I made long putts. It was nice to go bogey-free the last two days.
“I would’ve liked to make a few more birdies, make a little bit more of a charge, but at the end of the day, I can’t complain too much. If you had told me at the beginning of the week I would be in the Top 5, I would be very happy.”
Kang ran off five birdies in a seven-hole stretch in the middle of her round, posted the low score Sunday at 4-under 68 and sprinted away to a three-shot victory.
Kang, who was winless in 2021 after having won in each of her previous four LPGA seasons, finished at 16 under.
The 29-year-old American now has six LPGA titles.
“My mental game was really good,” said Kang. “I had a really good attitude all day today and yesterday. I know I left some putts out there, but I never let it get to me, and I kept having to give myself birdie chances as much as possible.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2022.
—With files from Jeff Babineau, The Associated Press
The Canadian Press