Words by BGB Editorial
RANCHO MIRAGE, California: Brooke Henderson shot herself right into contention at the ANA Inspiration, the Canadian firing a seven-under par 65 to join Nelly Korda at the head of the field heading into the final day.
And what a thrilling Sunday shootout it promises to be, between one woman who knows how to get it over the line on a Major Sunday and another searching for a maiden Major title.
Korda has yet to taste Major glory, and after two dazzling days of golf, the 22-year-old crashed back down to earth with a disappointing 71 on Saturday.
“It was a disappointing front nine, but I was really proud of the way I fought on the back nine. Never gave up and there’s still 18 more holes to be played, so much golf.”Nelly Korda
She lost the lead after finding the water from the rough at the par-four sixth, walking off the green in possession of a double-bogey six to drop down to fifth, two behind Henderson.
“I was between a pitching wedge and a 9-iron and we thought since it was kind of growing down grain that that wouldn’t kill it, but it absolutely flew nowhere,” said Korda. “The Bermuda rough just absolutely killed that shot.
But she was able to steady the ship and picked up three shots on the journey home to draw level at 12-under par.
“It was a disappointing front nine, but I was really proud of the way I fought on the back nine. Never gave up and there’s still 18 more holes to be played, so much golf.”
Henderson is only a year older than Korda, but the Canadian can already boast an impressive record, including nine tour titles and a Major, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2016.
She was able to draw on all of that experience on Saturday, trading an eagle at the second hole and six birdies against a solitary bogey to move through the field.
“I was just trying to move up [the leader board] as much as I could,” she said on a day in which the temperature hit 100 degrees. “Trying to get into double digits under par, that was a big one. Just trying to put myself in great position going into tomorrow.”
A trio of players, including multiple Major winner Lexi Thompson (69), Katherine Kirk (67) and Mirim Lee (71) are two shots off the pace on 10-under par.
Moriya Jutanugarn moved into a share of 14th on six-under after carding a three-under par 69 on Saturday. Her sister Ariya went one better, recording a 68 to take a share of 21st on minus-four.