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With old putter back in play, Brooke Henderson rolls into Sunday with chance to win at Carnoustie

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Brooke Henderson’s search for a solution to her putting woes has taken a familiar turn at the AIG Womens’ Open.

Henderson, who has struggled on the greens over the last two seasons on the LPGA, has tinkered with her grip, her green reading and even switched putters. This week, she has a new but old putter in the bag at Carnoustie Golf Links. She returned to the club that lifted her to her first of back-to-back victories at the Lotte Championship in 2018.

“The putter feels good,” Henderson said after a Saturday round of 70. “I decided to go back to the blade and I feel like on these types of greens it works really well, and I just tried to keep things pretty simple and I feel like so far we have read the greens pretty well.”

The Canadian’s putting has seen a precipitous decline since 2019. That year, Henderson was ranked 12th on tour in putts per green in regulation. She dropped to 24th in 2020 and is currently ranked 62nd at 1.81. These numbers coincide with a staggering drop in her putting average. In 2019, she was third on tour, but she has dropped to her current ranking at 125th with an average of 30.7 putts per round.

But Henderson has rediscovered something on the greens at Carnoustie. Her return to the putter that helped her capture her sixth win on tour has lifted her into a tie for eighth with 18 holes to play. She’s on track to record her best major finish at the AIG Women’s Open, the one major championship that has stumped Henderson.

While she has multiple top-10s in each of the other four major championships, the annual trip across the pond is one that has continually perplexed the Canadian. Her best finish came in a T-11 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes in 2018, which also happens to be the same year she played with the putter she put back in her bag this week.

“I feel like for the most part we are hitting quality shots and our game plan is pretty solid,” Henderson said about her game. “Excited to tee it up tomorrow and hopefully good things can happen."