A closing 80, five-over-par, over Royal Troon saw the 27-year-old nursery school teacher finish the 54-hole event on 218 – three shots behind Northern Ireland's Danielle McVeigh, who came from two behind with five holes to play to take the title.
Kenney, who dropped four shots in the last five holes, said: "It is always disappointing when you finish badly but I would have taken seven-under at the start of the week and I hope I've done enough for the Curtis Cup." Kelsey MacDonald and Pamela Pretswell, the two other Scots in the field on short leet, will have to hope they've not played their way out of the team after finishing on 228 and 233 respectively following closing rounds of 75 and 82.
On a day when players were well wrapped up at the start but had shed a layer or two by the finish, Kenney settled down after a nervy start and picked up her first birdie of the day at the short fifth, where she hit a 7-iron to seven feet, to open up a two-shot cushion.
Dropped shots at the eighth and ninth allowed Nikki Foster, an 18-year-old from England, to get back on level terms with the Scot – they'd set out three clear of the field after two rounds on Troon Portland – at the turn and they were still locked together with five holes to play, with McVeigh, the third member of the final group, two shots back.
Yet, by the time the trio left the 17th green, the woman from across the Irish Sea held a two-shot lead and was firmly in the driving seat following a remarkable turnaround. While McVeigh birdied the short 14th, where she holed from off the green, and then holed from a similar distance for an eagle-3 at the next, Kenney had a double-bogey and bogey at those holes, the damage at the first of them caused by taking two shots to escape from a greenside bunker.
Despite a bogey at the last, McVeigh closed with a one-under 74 to win by two shots from Foster, who saw her chances of winning undone by bogeys at the 14th, 17th and 18th as she closed with a 79.