By Chris Stevenson, The Rideau View Golf Insider
AURORA, Ont. — Brooke Henderson’s take on how she played her last hole Friday at the CP Women’s Open was kind of a summation of her round.
The LPGA star from Smiths Falls is in great shape heading into the weekend as she tries to defend the title she won last year in Saskatchewan. She had a solid if unspectacular 3-under par 69 Friday afternoon in blustery conditions that left her three shots off the lead.
Three birdies, no bogeys.
She is 9-under par through two rounds, three back of leader Nicole Broch Larsen of Denmark, who had her second-straight 66 for a one-shot lead over world No. 1 Jin Young Ko (67 Friday) and Yu Liu (67).
But there’s a bit of a feeling she could have squeezed out another shot or two. Henderson was in position to pick up another stroke when she played her 240-yard approach to just off the front of the green of the par-5 ninth hole (she started on the back nine Friday). An indifferent chip shot and a missed putt from 15 feet led to a disappointing par.
“That was definitely a birdie hole and was kind of looking forward to that one, but that’s all right,” she said. “I’m still in good position.
“You know, I’m happy where I am, to be close to the lead and know that I could have played a little better today. Still a solid round. I feel confident going into tomorrow that I could get on a run and make a bunch of birdies which is always a great feeling.
“I’m excited to tee it up.”
The wind was tricky at the Magna Golf Club on Friday afternoon and caused Team Henderson to take some more conservative approaches. There were a few times when the wind got on the ball and made the approach even more conservative.
“It was really windy out there today, seemed to affect me a lot more than yesterday. I guess it was a little bit stronger,” she said. “You just had to be careful about that a little bit. Unfortunately I didn’t get some of those closer looks for birdie, but I still feel like I hit a lot of greens and my putting was good enough that I got good pace on the first putt there,” Henderson said.
Henderson had 31 putts on Friday, many of them from long range. She had a great feel for the pace. Like fellow competitors Stacy Lewis and Minjee Lee, they got fooled on a couple of shorter putts by some subtle breaks.
Henderson had some good looks inside 10 feet, but couldn’t get them to go.
Henderson — one of the best drivers of the ball in the game — hit it pretty well again Friday.
Just for fun, I took my range finder out on the course with me Friday to try and get an idea of the length of Henderson’s approaches. Magna played 6,581 yards on Friday.
When it came to proximity to the hole, she paces off all of her putts so I tried to pay attention. The length of some of those approaches is a bit of guess because I wasn’t always right behind her ball, but they are probably not too far off.
Here’s how it looked:
Hole Length Approach Proximity to hole Result
10 (par 4, 403) 139 40 Par
11 (par 4, 414) 101 7 Birdie
12 (par 5, 513) 90 13 Par
13 (par 3) 137 (back fringe) Par
14 (par 5, 525) 30 8 Par
15 (par 4, 361) 110 12 Birdie
16 (par 4, 399) 115 30 Par
17 (par 3) 167 60 Par
18 (par 4, 406) 145 40 Par
1 (par 4, 395) 155 18 Par
2 (par 3) 165 48 Par
3 (par 4, 370) 120 10 Par
4 (par 4, 392) 150 missed green Par
5 (par 4, 348) 125 6 Par
6 (par 4, 383) 75 50 Par
7 (par 5, 528) 55 6 Birdie
8 (par 3) 181 20 Par
9 (par 5, 535) 27 15 Par
That’s pretty impressive that her longest approach on the par-4s and par-5s was about 155 yards.
Getting close to Magna’s potato-chip shaped greens is no easy task, but it’s going to be easier with a shorter club in your hand. If the wind quiets, you have to like Henderson’s chances on the weekend.
One area she would like to clean up is her play with her 3-wood.
“You know, I feel like tee shots have been great so far. This week I have hit a lot of fairways and seem to be giving myself good angles into the greens and pins. I feel like on the par-5s maybe if I could get it up there…it’s more my second shot, my 3-wood. If I could hit it a little bit cleaner, I feel like I could hit more greens in two and make it easier to birdie or eagle.”
Put it all together and she’s in good shape heading into the weekend.
Only two Canadian players made the 36-hole cut – Henderson (t-3) and Anne-Catherine Tanguay (t-25 at -4).
The cut fell at -1 with Alena Sharp missing by a shot.
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This article appears courtesy of Rideau View Golf Club, where Chris Stevenson is a regular contributor to their social media – worth following!