Brooke Henderson tees it up Sunday with another chance to win more than an LPGA event.
Henderson, the 17-year-old from Canada, posted an even-par 71 Saturday at the Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout, leaving her one shot behind Rolex world No. 2 Inbee Park (69) and No. 11 Lexi Thompson (68). Henderson finished third at the Swinging Skirts Classic just outside San Francisco last week.
If Henderson wins, she could claim LPGA membership through the rest of this season and next year. However, before doing so she would have to gain a waiver of the LPGA rule requiring members to be 18 years old.
Henderson is trying to join Thompson and Lydia Ko as the only players to win LPGA events before turning 18.
“I made a couple of mistakes,” Henderson told the media after her round. “Just a few putts on the back nine I wish I would have made, but I'm still in a good position. I didn't play that well today, and I'm still right in there.”
It will be quite the feat if Henderson wins. For the second straight week, there’s formidable competition. Hall of Famer Karrie Webb is just one back after equally the tournament record on Saturday with a 64. Angela Stanford (67) is also one back, with Cristie Kerr (69) two behind and defending champion Stacy Lewis (66) four behind.
“It’s great to be able to play with these great players, and be able to compete with them, and be right beside them,” Henderson said. “I've watched them on TV for the last couple years, now right beside them, and I'm learning a lot just by watching what they do around the golf course, and how they behave, and just their mannerisms.”
Henderson played with Park and Hall of Famer Juli Inkster in the final pairing on Saturday. She will tee it up with Kerr on Sunday in the third to last pairing off. She played alongside Morgan Pressel in the final pairing last Sunday at the Swinging Skirts.
Henderson had a chance to take a share of the lead into Sunday’s final round of the North Texas Shootout but missed a 6-foot birdie chance at the last hole at Las Colinas Country Club. She three putted from 90 feet after reaching the green in two, lipping out her birdie chance.
It has been a long, chaotic week for Henderson. She took a one-shot lead into the final round last weekend, lost it, but then found herself with a 27-foot birdie chance to get into a playoff at the end of regulation. She missed the putt, met with reporters and then scrambled off to the San Francisco airport to fly to Dallas for the North Texas Shootout’s Monday playoff. Flight delays made it a race against the clock. She didn’t leave San Francisco until 4 a.m. and didn’t get to Las Colinas until about four hours before her Monday qualifier tee time.