Henderson finishes as Low Canadian
Despite the fact that Brooke Henderson didn’t have a chance to win the CP Women’s Open coming up the 18th fairway, you wouldn’t know it based on the reception she was getting from the crowds at the Ottawa Golf & Hunt Club, who lined the fairways all week and cheered on their hometown hero.
“I would have loved to finish a little better for (the crowd) to give them something more to cheer about, but I think the birdies on the back kind of put them in good spirits again,” said Henderson. “They were just behind me 100 percent, the whole way.”
Henderson admitted she put a lot – perhaps too much – pressure on herself Sunday to get the job done on her home course (Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club bestowed her a membership in 2016).
“I wasn't nervous, but I had some tension. I wanted it so badly that it kind of affected me a little bit with some of the shots that I hit. Some of the putts, they were so close to going in, and it kind of got me down a little bit that they just rubbed the edge or stayed on the lip a couple times,” she said. “These crowds were so incredible. I just could never have imagined this many people coming out to watch me play golf. It's amazing. Definitely a week I'll remember forever.”
Walking up the 18th green, Henderson’s playing partner, Cristie Kerr, held back and let her walk up to the green by herself, a walk usually reserved for the champion of the tournament.
“She’s Canada’s champion, so that was fitting,” said Kerr, who finished tied for third at 10-under par.
Henderson heads to Portland next week as the two-time defending champion.
Alex has best-ever LPGA result
Although it was a tale of two nines for Marina Alex on Sunday at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club – she made four birdies and two bogeys on her first nine holes but followed that up with eight-straight pars on her second nine before birding her final hole of the day – she managed to fire a 3-under-par 68 and finish at 10-under for the week.
Her tie for third was her best-ever finish on the LPGA Tour.
“I was trying really hard not to look at the leaderboard at all today. So when I looked up and saw that's where I was at, I definitely think this is my best finish. From day one to day four, definitely the most solid I've played this year in terms of controlling my emotions and just playing golf and not getting too far ahead of myself,” she said. “I'm really pleased.”
Alex explained this result will help her confidence moving forward, and through the final stretch of the 2017 LPGA Tour season.
“Today was a really good confidence booster,” she stated. “Regardless of the outcome, just to have some steady golf on the last day and just to really be in better control of myself and to manage everything that's going on around me, I think it's a great experience going into the future.”
Recari recovers from a lung infection
By her own admission, Beatriz Recari said these last few weeks haven’t been the greatest.
She had to withdraw from the U.S. Women’s Open and miss the last month-and-a-half on the LPGA Tour while battling a lung infection.
“Between pneumonia and really severe bronchitis… I'm not a doctor, but I felt really bad,” she said with a smile. “I listened to my body. I took some time off, and it definitely paid off. I really did some really good work in the off week, and I'm very happy with the result this week.”
Recari fired a 3-under-par 68 Sunday to get to 8-under par for the week, finishing in 11th place alone. She was 5-under through 10 holes but made two bogeys coming in, including on her final hole of the day.
Still, she said this week was a big confidence booster, especially on a golf course that she said was ‘definitely’ like a major championship set up.
“The greens were very challenging, very fast. You know, you had to place it on the fairways. The rough is high and definitely a big test,” she said. “There was so much variety. Like some holes… par-4s were long, some par-3s were long, longer than we normally play on regular events. Then we had some short holes where you could be aggressive. At the same time, the greens were challenging. So overall you had to think a lot, but tough course.”
Recari said she would be playing the next three events in a row and try to continue to ride this wave of momentum.
Jane Park has solid Sunday
The CP Women’s Open final round featured quick greens and tricky pin positions, but Jane Park managed to navigate the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club’s layout with precision, firing a 6-under-par 65, the second-best round of the day.
Park started her day with a bogey, but made seven birdies on the day, including three-in-a-row on No’s 15-17.
“I just stayed really patient because I've been hitting the ball really well all week, but not many putts were falling,” she said. “A few chips went in, and I just got lucky on a couple of those chips because some of those lies are brutal out there.”
Park finished at 9-under for the tournament, and finished tied for eighth, her best result of the season.
“It's been a struggle. The game has lots of up-and-downs, but I guess just staying patient like I said earlier. It's really rewarding when you finally get a few good rounds under your belt,” said Park.
She continued to say a strong finish like this week at the CP Women’s Open ‘absolutely’ gives her a lot of momentum for the balance of the season.
Chun notches another top three finish
It has to happen eventually for In Gee Chun.
Chun, who fired rounds of 67-67-70-70 this week at the CP Women’s Open, finished tied for third. It was her sixth top-3 finish of the season.
“I really enjoyed this week,” she said. “(Sung Hyun Park) had a really good round today. But I don't know, my game was not really bad, so I'm happy for her to win this week. I'll just keep going to next week.”
Chun also lost in a playoff at the Manulife LPGA Classic, and said she enjoyed playing in front of the Canadian fans.
She admitted she knew what was going on in front of her – she was playing in the group behind Brooke Henderson – and said it was ‘amazing’ how much the fans were cheering her on.
But she joked it did make her a little homesick.
“I'm really missing for my club in Korea (and) playing in Korea,” she said with a smile.
Chun said she would be in the field next week in Portland before taking a week off prior to The Evian Championship, the final major of the year on the LPGA Tour.