RIDEAU VIEW GOLF CLUB - OTTAWA'S PREMIER PRIVATE GOLF EXPERIENCE.
© 1957-2014. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. WEBSITE DESIGN BY LIGHT SWITCH CREATIVE INC.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls rallied with a final round 5-under-par 67 at the ANA Inspiration to run her streak of top 10 finishes on the LPGA Tour to six.
It's seven if you want to include a Ladies European Tour event in Australia.
There was the usual assortment of spectacular shots - including a hybrid from 214 yards on the 18th hole at Mission Hills to set up an eagle try - in another fine Sunday round for Henderson.
She wound up tied for 10th, five shots behind winner Lydio Ko, who won her second-straight major (Ko vs. Henderson could wind up being a pretty good rivalry for years to come).
But a couple of other shots also showed a couple of the qualities that have helped the 18-year-old Henderson rise to seventh in the world rankings.
They showed the type of qualities and skills a player needs to be a consistent contender in the majors.
On the fourth hole, she pulled her drive a little left into a nasty lie in the punishing rough. Only the very top of the ball was visible. She was 154 yards from the uphill green.
After seeing the lie, her father and coach, Dave, said she'd do well to have a 120-foot putt.
She muscled it out of there and got the ball hole high about 25 feet away.
There aren't many players on the LPGA Tour who have that kind of strength and clubhead speed to get through that rough.
"This week you hit in the rough and there were a couple of times this week I could barely find my ball. I had to be literally standing on top of it to see it," Henderson said after the round.
"I was actually happy at four. I didn't think it was as bad and I was like, 'okay, this is good. I'll be able to get some good contact on it.' I was able to hit it on pin high which I was really happy with.
"Overall, I think hitting it out of the rough this week I did a pretty good job for some of the lies that I had."
Dave and Brooke have been working on increasing her clubhead speed - they've watched videos of Canadian long drive champ Jamie Sadlowski - and she is hitting it farther.
She ranked ninth in driving distance at the ANA Inspiration with an average drive of 266.9 yards (Paula Reto led the week at 282.3. The best stat? Lexi Thompson average 309 yards on the two measured drives on Saturday).
The other impressive shot that doesn't show up on the scoreboard was a clever, creative piece of work by Henderson out of the trees on the left side of the seventh hole.
Henderson pulled her drive and had a tree in her way on the dogleg left par-4. She had 146 yards to another uphill green.
She hooked a low 8-iron around the tree and chased it up the fairway. It bounded up and rolled towards the hole, finishing at the back edge behind the flag. She actually wound up with a good look at birdie.
"I kind of had to hook it a little bit around the tree. I could see it just hit right in front there and I was kind of yelling, 'sit,' because I thought it might scoot to the back and it did," she said. "Then I almost made birdie. It was a bad tee shot, but a good hole."
That ability to take tough situations and not just cope with them, but turn them into scoring opportunities is pretty remarkable.
They require strength and finesse in equal measure with imagination and creativity thrown in there, as well.
It was a pretty good show.