Brooke Henderson recovers from early four-putt to win Evian Championship
Brooke Henderson, who led by five strokes midway through the third round and still held a two-shot advantage at the start of action on Sunday, claimed victory in the Evian Championship – but the final round had plenty of drama.
The 24-year-old Canadian became the second golfer to win a major championship with a four-putt in 2022 – but whereas Scottie Scheffler’s errors on the final green in the Masters prompted laughter, Henderson’s quartet of strokes on the 6th green at the Evian Resort in south-eastern France were met with horrified silence.
Within minutes she had been caught by Nelly Korda and within an hour six golfers shared the lead. A Henderson rout had turned into a frantic cavalry charge and most players not only caught, but embarrassed in the process, would have wilted let alone recovered to post a 17-under total of 267.
Henderson parried blows from Japan’s Mao Saigo (playing in just her third major), Lydia Ko, Charley Hull, Kim Hyo-Joo and Carlota Ciganda who all finished on 15 under. Sei Young Kim also threatened before a late collapse.
Korda, meanwhile, experienced a remarkable day. At the 6th a fan picked up her errant approach shot and waved it around like a prize in a raffle. It was replaced but she posted a double bogey. Three holes later she drained a bunker shot for an eagle to hit the top before playing the back nine in limp fashion.
It was left to the rookie Sophia Schubert to provide the greatest test of Henderson’s resolve. The 26-year-old had never finished in the top 10 at this level yet negotiated the front nine in calm fashion, eased free of the pack with three back-nine birdies, and had 12 feet for another at the last. It refused to drop but she claimed second alone on 16 under.
Midway through the back nine Henderson’s eyes had narrowed, a sign that her focus had returned. Birdies at 14 and 15 drew her level with Schubert, then she converted a winning birdie from 10ft on the final green with a straightforwardness that made a mockery of her travails 12 holes earlier.
“I was playing poorly but I was still in it,” she said of her chaotic front nine. “The saying is that majors are won on the back nine on Sunday so I kept reminding myself of that.” Such clarity in the wake of the grisly four-putt meant the second major victory of her career was hers.