Mel Reid was probably going to crack a cold one at some point Sunday. But until she carded a 6-under-par 66 in the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, it was going to come out of frustration rather than celebration.
The 31-year-old Brit was only one shot out of the lead as darkness fell on Hazeltine National after a 69 in Thursday’s opening round. She backed it up with an error-filled, 36-putt, 4-over 76 on Friday and shot 1 under on Saturday to begin Sunday’s round at even par.
She arrived on property with a bold number dancing in her head throughout her warm-up session on the driving range and practice green.
“I was determined to get to 6,” Reid said.
Two early hiccups — including a “stupid” bogey on No. 3 — put that number in jeopardy. But Reid made seven birdies the rest of the way to reach her lofty goal.
Reid put a bow on the effort with a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 18, one of only seven there all afternoon, that gave her the clubhouse lead. Her 66 was the best round by any player in all four rounds, until Nasa Hataoka finished with a 65 not long after.
Reid, who tied for 39th last week in Michigan but before that had missed three consecutive cuts and not finished better than tied for 50th this season, peeked at the leaderboard after she signed her card. At the time, Hannah Green was only two shots ahead of Reid’s 6 under.
“I won’t quite have a couple beers yet,” Reid said. “I’ll just hang out for the next hour or so, and then I’ll have a full load.”
She wound up with a career-best finish, tied for third with Nelly Korda.
“I’m a big fan of Greenie,” Reid said of the eventual wire-to-wire winner. “I’m really impressed with how strong she’s been.”
No break for Brooke
Brooke Henderson came to Chaska fresh off a victory, giving the Canadian nine career victories and the record for most wins on the PGA or LPGA Tours by any player from her country.
The momentum didn’t carry over until the back nine Sunday.
Henderson, fifth in the world rankings and second this season in LPGA points, needed a birdie putt on the 18th hole Friday night just to make the cut. The 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA champion was at 6 over for the tournament early in her round Sunday before making four birdies coming in and finished tied for 30th at 2 over.
“This is my fifth week [in a row] and I’d been in contention a couple times,” she said. “It takes a lot out of you. Mentally, I was really tired. I was hoping for something special on the weekend to get going because I just couldn’t get much rest and see the golf course the first couple of days here.”
Henderson will make it six in a row this week at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, a 54-hole event.
“Only three days,” Henderson said. “I’m looking forward to that.”
Burnham not deterred
Maple Grove’s Sarah Burnham, a former girls’ golf state champion at Wayzata, made three double bogeys Sunday and finished the tournament at 15 over par. That tied her for 78th place out of 80 players who made the cut.
Burnham, though, was all smiles after playing all four rounds in a major for the first time in her career — right in her own backyard.
Burnham two-putted for par on No. 17 on Sunday. She birdied the hole each of the previous three days, one of many things she’ll put away in her mental toolbox for the rest of the LPGA season.
“It’s something I’ll never forget,” said Burnham, who collected $6,875 for the finish. “I didn’t play my best game out there. I know that. I know I can just compete with the best in the world and if my game is on one week, you know, I could be up there on the leaderboard.”