This year’s Amundi Evian champion, Brooke Henderson, has been dealing with a back injury throughout the week at the CME Group Tour Championship, doing her best to grin and bear it with a $2 million winner’s check on the line. But it appears the Canadian is rapidly on the mend after firing a bogey-free, 7-under 65 on Moving Day at Tiburon Golf Club. Starting the day in a tie for 26th at -2 overall, Henderson carded three birdies on holes 2, 3 and 12 and two eagles on Nos. 6 and 17, the former of which saw Henderson hole out her 28-yard pitch shot. The 65 is Henderson’s new career-low round at the CME Group Tour Championship and her third-lowest third-round score on the LPGA Tour, and while she’ll still have plenty of ground to make up on Sunday, her Saturday effort has given her a fighting chance at her 13th LPGA Tour title.
“To get two eagles on the day on two par-5s, that really gives you that extra little bonus and a little bit of momentum which was great,” said Henderson, who has now made 9 eagles this season. “To get those and no bogeys on the day, that was kind of clutch. My first round, no bogeys. Yesterday I had enough bogeys for the whole week I think, and then to bounce back today feels really great. It's nice to see the top of the leaderboard, but I know there's tons of golf still to be played. If I could have another day like this tomorrow, that would be really nice.”
This is Henderson’s eighth appearance in the CME Group Tour Championship and in her seven previous starts she has three top 10s, including a best finish of solo fifth that came in 2019. The back pain that’s lingered since last week’s Pelican Women’s Championship threatened to end her season early, but Henderson isn’t a player that throws in the towel easily. With 18 left to play at Tiburon, she’ll lean heavily on her mental toughness and the confidence derived from a solid Saturday showing, hoping they’ll carry her through the final walk of the 2022 LPGA Tour season.
“I feel like maybe the hockey mentality. Just trying to be tough,” Henderson said. “It's the final event of the year so I just really wanted to finish this year on a strong note. I know that I have a month and a half to rest and recover and do everything I need to be ready for next year so just pushing through. It's only one more day now, which is really exciting. Hopefully just finish strong tomorrow.”