Canada’s Brooke Henderson is off to a fast start in the opening round in her title defence at the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii.
The 12th ranked player in the world opened with a score of 65 (-7), three better than her 1st round in 2018 when she went on to secure what was then her 6th career LPGA career victory. After also winning the CP Women’s Open last year, she is pursuing her 8th title this week. If successful, she would tie the career mark of Sandra Post, the most by a Canadian.
Playing at Ko Olina Golf Club, on the west side of the Island of Oahu where wind is always a factor, Brooke had to adapt as she began her round. Opening with a bogey on a day when players were going low, she knew she had to turn things around, and she did.
“The wind was really different on my front nine,” noted the pro who finds herself in a share of third place and two back of the leader, Nelly Korda, after round one. “Never experienced that wind direction here before, so took a little bit of adjusting and kind of patience.”
Brooke began her round on the course’s back nine and starting get her scorecard looking a lot better on the 12th hole where she made birdie, followed by another on 13.
It really turned in the right direction on the short, par 4, 15th where she made an improbable two.
“The chip-in on 15 for eagle really was a big help and kind of got my momentum back,” she said of the unlikely deuce. “I had 45 yards, I think, so big drive there, which was nice. Then it was a tricky little chip, but happy it went in.”
Brooke would keep her card clean after that, adding four more birdies on the way to the clubhouse to achieve her admirable total for the day and keep her in the mix for the title.
As she mentioned in her press conference on Tuesday, Brooke reiterated her comfort level at the course where she finished at -12 total last year to win in high winds.
“It’s exciting. You feel a little bit more comfortable. You think you know the golf course a little bit better which gives you a little bit more confidence. I think I was able to use some of that strategy from last year this year, which is a big help.”
She added, “…really happy to finish at minus 7 and hopefully just keep doing it the next three days.”
There are four other Canadian in the field in Hawaii. The only other one to finish under par was Alena Sharp, fresh off a top-twenty finish at the ANA Inspiration. She shares 29th place at three under par.
The other Canadian scores: Anne-Catherine Tanguay (E), Jaclyn Lee (+1) Brittany Marchand (+2).