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Henderson finishes second at Evian Championship

Brooke Henderson Brooke Henderson - The Canadian Press

Brooke Henderson came as close as possible to defending her Amundi Evian Championship, finishing second in the year’s fourth major.

But that runner-up performance was still a long way back from the lead. Celine Boutier of France dominated the tournament in her home country, finishing at 14 under and winning by six shots.

For Henderson, second place is her best finish of the year since a season-opening win. It’s also just her second top-10 but it gave her hope that her game is on the right track.

“I feel like things are really coming together,” she said after signing for a final-round, one-under 70. It's been a little bit of an up-and-down year so it's really nice to finish strong this week.”

Henderson gave herself a chance to defend the title she won a year ago with a silky third-round round 67 that included an opening-nine of 29, equaling the lowest nine-hole score in major championship history.

But on Sunday, playing under sunny but windy conditions, she could get no closer than four shots to Boutilier. Still, having a late tee time Sunday and, at the very least, being in the hunt was welcome.

“It feels great to be back in contention in the final groups in the weekend on a major championship,” she stated. “That's all you can really ask for. I feel like the game has been trending for a while so nice to see some good results.”

There were some bright spots statistically for the 25-year-old Smiths Falls, Ont., product. She averaged 29 putts a round, a solid number for a player whose putter has always run hot and cold. And she was perfect in scrambling, going three for three in sand saves.

Having a familiarity with the course no doubt helped her over the four days. She has now finished inside the top 25 in the tournament six times in eight starts, including her victory.

“I feel like we have a good strategy for it now which is exciting,” she stated. “To finish [second] this year is amazing after coming off the win last year.”

Henderson will now rest for a week and gear up for the women’s final major of the season, the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England. Two weeks after that, she will return home to play the CPKC Women’s Open at Shaughnessy G&CC in Vancouver.