In her third appearance in the AmazingCre Portland Classic, Esther Henseleit is looking to improve on her T5 finish at last year’s event and earn her first LPGA Tour victory. However, she’s never played 72 holes at Columbia Edgewater Country Club. The tie for fifth came at Oregon Golf Club and she has only played 54 holes in this event the last two years due to weather issues. This Sunday, she’ll have to play 18 more go score low as she sits two strokes out of the lead after her third-round 71. Following her 8-under 64 on Friday, Henseleit had trouble finding her form during the third round, carding three bogeys and four birdies.
“I started pretty solid. Some pretty average pars to start off with. Then yeah, had a bogey on 4 because I was kind of blocked out by the tree after my drive,” said Henseleit. “Then had some good chances, made some birdies, and yeah, in the end, just again, two bad shots, but kind of left me out of position, and then two more bogeys.”
The German golfer earned a spot in Saturday’s lead group thanks to fantastic putting in the second round. According to the KPMG Performance Insights, Henseleit made seven putts outside of 10 feet in round two, much better than her season average of 1.83 per round.
“I had many chances, but they were not gimmes. I didn't have like a tap-in birdie at all,” Henseleit said after her round on Friday. “I holed some really good putts. Yeah, like four, five, six good putts and, I don't know, I guess my caddie did a good job because I always had pretty straight uphill putts.”
Henseleit’s best finish this season was a tie for 12th in Thailand early this year, but she’s since struggled on the Tour. Her game, she said, is in a good place but her scores haven’t been as low as she hoped. Hovering above the cut line each week has affected her mentality, she said after Friday’s round, but as a two-time LET champion she knows she has what it takes to win.
“I know that I can shoot really low rounds on Sundays to win,” she said. “There's so many girls around the lead, so I guess it's going to be like around 20 people still playing for the win. So, just try to go out and shoot something low and see if it's (my) day tomorrow.”