Brooke Henderson, who led by five strokes midway through round three and still held a two-stroke advantage at the start of action on Sunday, took the championship win from Evian – but the final round was very dramatic.
The 24-year-old Canadian became the second golfer to win a major championship with a four-putt in 2022 – but while Scottie Scheffler’s mistakes on the final green of the Masters brought laughs, Henderson’s quartet of shots on the 6th green at the Evian Resort in southeastern France were met with horrified silence.
Within minutes she had been overtaken 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 faded let alone recovered to post a total of 267 17s.
Henderson parried Japan’s Mao Saigo (playing only in his third major), Lydia Ko, Charley Hull, Kim Hyo-Joo and Carlota Ciganda who all finished with under-15s. Sei Young Kim also threatened before a late meltdown.
Korda, meanwhile, had a remarkable day. On the 6th, a fan picked up his errant approach shot and waved it like a prize in a raffle. She was substituted but posted a double bogey. Three holes later, she drained a bunker shot for an eagle to reach the top before playing the back nine in soft fashion.
It was left to rookie Sophia Schubert to provide the biggest test of Henderson’s resolve. The 26-year-old had never finished in the top 10 at this level, but negotiated the front nine in calm fashion, broke free of the pack with three birdies in the back-nine and had 12 feet for another at the last . She refused to let go but she placed second only on 16 under.
Midway through the back nine, Henderson’s eyes had narrowed, a sign that his focus had returned. Birdies at 14 and 15 tied Schubert, then she converted a game-winning birdie from 10 feet on the final green with a franchise that mocked her work 12 holes earlier.
“I was playing badly but I was still in it,” she said of her chaotic front nine. “The saying is the majors are won on the back nine on Sunday, so I kept reminding myself of that.” Such clarity following the dreadful four putt meant the second big win of his career was his.