BRAMPTON, Ont. — There is only one way to describe Smith Falls, Ont. resident Brooke Henderson’s performance at the Golf Association of Ontario’s (GAO) Investors Group Women’s Amateur Championship at the Brampton Golf Club – clutch. The 16-year-old went wire-to-wire leading thru all four rounds to capture the 2014 title with a combined score of 12-under (272).
Henderson, a Team Canada member, came into the final round with a two-shot lead over fellow Team Canada member, Bath, Ont.’s Augusta James and seven ahead of a third Team Canada representative, Orangeville, Ont.’s Brittany Marchand.
The day began with a birdie for the 21-year-old James on the first hole and a bogey for Henderson on the third. That brought the two back to a share of the lead at 7-under. However, that would be the sole blemish on Henderson’s day. She completed the front nine with birdies on holes 4, 7 and 9. She then hit back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14 to finish the round at four-under (67).
As for James, she hit another birdie on the 5th hole, but a bogey on 6 brought her back to 7-under. She began the back nine with a birdie and a bogey, on 10 and 11, before closing out her round with birdies on 14 and 17. She finished the day three-under (68) and the tournament at 9-under.
Marchand, 22, looked to jump into the race for the title with a 3-under front nine. She would bogey 12, but added birdies on 13 and 15 to finish the day four-under (67) and six-under for the tournament.
After the round, Henderson spoke about what it meant to win the championship.
“It was such a great event,” she said Friday. “I had a good opening round and was able to finish it off today. Coming into the tournament, I wanted to get my name on that trophy. There are so many great names on it and I am so happy I was able to do it.”
The three Team Canada members spent most of the week playing together, Henderson talked about how that impacted her game.
“I played with Britt (Marchand) right from the get go and then with Gus (James) for the last two rounds,” she added. “I had a couple of middle rounds that weren’t that great but playing with them was a lot of fun. They are a couple of great players. With them knowing how to win and being on the national team with them, I knew I needed to have four solid rounds to finish it off.”
The win is just the latest in a series of strong finishes for Henderson, but is sure to help keep her momentum going.
“I’ve been on a bit of a roll as of late with winning the Porter Cup, then I finished tenth at the U.S. Open, then won the Canadian Women’s Tour event in Niagara Falls and now the Ontario Amateur,” she said with a smile. “It really has been a great last couple of weeks and I have enjoyed it.”
With their top three finishes, the trio of Henderson, James and Marchand will go on to represent Ontario in the inter-provincial competition at the Canadian Women’s Amateur, July 22-25 at Craigowan Golf & Country Club in Woodstock.
For full results from the 2014 Investors Group Ontario Women’s Amateur Championship, click here.