Honest as ever, Esther Henseleit didn’t hold back after her third round at the Marathon LPGA Classic. “I mean, my ball striking was so bad today. I think I hit one good iron shot today,” said Henseleit, cracking a quick laugh. She said she felt she aged 10 years after an exhausting day of play. But despite the self-critique, the 2020/21 LPGA Tour rookie recorded a 67 to sit at -12 overall and in solo fourth heading into Sunday.
Henseleit started off with three bogeys and one birdie in her first six holes but turned her game around starting with a birdie on No. 8. From there, the German notched four more birdies, including on the final two par 5s. “The [birdie] on 17 I wasn't sure if I could get there or not and I didn't really hit a good one; had a quite tough pitch over the bunker. Had to be a bit spin-y. Almost holed it, so that one was nice,” said Henseleit. “And then on 18 I hit it long with the second and also needed like a high soft one; also made a good one. Had like a 2-foot birdie putt and made that one.”
Henseleit, who notched her Tour-best finish with a tie for fourth at last week’s Volunteers of America Classic, will tee off in the penultimate grouping at 9:17 a.m. along with 2021 U.S. Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso and four-time Tour winner Amy Yang. A winner on the Ladies European Tour, Henseleit will begin the day seven shots off Nasa Hataoka’s lead, but said she’ll give it her all in Toledo on Sunday.
“I mean, we all know golf. Everything is possible. We'll see. I will try to attack her and do everything I can, shoot many birdies tomorrow and then we see how it is in the end,” said Henseleit. “I know that I can play 4-under with terrible ball striking, and that really gives me confidence. I'm not really worried about it because yesterday it was so good. I think I just need to like get that feeling back, have a good rest tonight, and then I'm ready for tomorrow.”