Brooke Henderson looks to knock off “bucket list” win

The final major championship of the year on the LPGA Tour is going to be a special one for 2022.

For the first time, the iconic Muirfield will play host to the AIG Women’s Open. This comes just five years after the club – a privately owned links course and the home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers – first allowed female members.

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The vote to admit women as members for the first time in the club’s history happened in March 2017, and the first female members were admitted in 2019. The club had been around for 275 years.

It was announced in 2020 that the club, which has hosted 16 Open Championship’s on the men’s side, would host the Women’s Open.

“Muirfield is possibly one of the purest tests of golf in the world,” Catriona Matthew, a former Women’s Open winner who lives near the course, told GolfWeek when the announcement was made official two years ago.

Anna Nordqvist will look to defend her title this year. She captured the 2021 Women’s Open at Carnoustie – another iconic links course – after her final-round 3-under 69 left her one shot ahead of a trio of golfers including Georgia Hall, Lizette Salas, and Madelene Sagstrom.

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Nordqvist was well out of contention through 36 holes but rocketed up the leaderboard thanks to a 7-under 65 in the third round. She shared the lead through 54 holes and managed to hold off a hard-charging field of challengers to win her third-career major championship.

“I think this is the most special one,” said Nordqvist last year of her major triumph. “Just because it’s taken me a couple years and I’ve fought so hard and questioned whether I was doing the right things.”

Golf Town Athlete Brooke Henderson finished tied for 13th a year ago. It was her second-best result at the Women’s Open in her career (the best came in 2018 when she finished tied for 11th).

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Playing links golf takes a totally different kind of effort than what Brooke was used to growing up in Canada, but she said over the last few years she’s enjoyed the challenge of learning how to play different shots that the links courses demand.

She’ll come into this year’s Women’s Open after winning the Amundi Evian Championship, her 12th LPGA Tour title. Just two months prior she won the ShopRite LPGA Classic. So far in 2022 she’s notched top-20 finishes in each of the major championships contested.

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“I would love to win this event,” said Brooke last year of the Women’s Open. “This is definitely on my bucket list. This would be really special.”

This year’s Women’s Open goes from Aug. 4-7.

The 2023 Women’s Open will be contested at Walton Heath (another first-time host) before the LPGA Tour returns to St. Andrews in 2024, 11 years after the championship was last contested at The Home of Golf.

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