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Lexi, Henderson roll into Women’s PGA with eye on No. 1

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CHASKA, Minn. – Brooke Henderson and Lexi Thompson couldn’t get hotter at a better time.

With three major championships over the next seven weeks, they’ll be looking to make the most of their winning form. They each have a chance this week to reach No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings for the first time.

Henderson won the Meijer Classic last week, Thompson the ShopRite Classic two weeks ago.

Ladbrokes makes Henderson the co-favorite to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with Jeongeun Lee6 at 11/1 odds, with Thompson at 12/1 odds.

With two victories and a second-place finish in her last seven starts, Henderson has climbed to world No. 5. There’s a load of world ranking points up for grabs in the three upcoming majors.


KPMG Women’s PGA Championship tee times


Henderson reached world No. 2 after winning the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2016 and stayed there for seven weeks. She could get to No. 1 with a victory this week, depending what current world No. 1 Jin Young Ko and others do.

Thompson can also get to No. 1 for the first time with a first- or second-place finish, depending what Ko and others do, but she says she doesn’t get caught up in the world rankings.

“Honestly, I don't think about rankings at all,” Thompson said. “I know I'm No. 2 right now, but I'm just going into every event wanting to win. What I've been doing best is focusing on my game and not trying to force anything, or thinking of the outside picture, or results or anything.”

What does Henderson think she needs to do to narrow the gap between herself and players who have held the No. 1 ranking?

“It always comes down to short game, and I’ve worked really hard on my wedges, especially the last two seasons,” Henderson said. “I feel like I've made really big improvements there. I feel a lot more comfortable when I have those shots inside a hundred yards, knowing that I can make birdie, really easily, or hit it close and save par. I think that really gives me a lot of confidence, momentum, knowing that I can do that a little bit easier than I could before.

“I think a big thing, if I was ever to get to the No. 1 spot, it would have a lot to do with putting. I'm working with my sister and dad on that, pretty much every single week, to try to be a better green reader and maybe make my stroke a little bit more consistent.”