w/ Chris Stevenson, The Rideau View Golf Insider
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Maybe the best thing for Brooke Henderson was to have her second round at the ANA Invitational halted by darkness.
The 19-year-old from Smiths Falls, in danger of missing her second cut in a row, was looking like she needed a timeout. She was 2-over through nine holes Friday and had hit her tee shot on the first hole (her 10th) when the horn sounded at 10:04 EDT to suspend play because of darkness.
The tournament is backlogged after play was suspended Thursday afternoon because of high winds that hit gusts of close to 100 km/h and uprooted a couple of trees along the ninth fairway. That has left tournament organizers scrambling to try and get the tournament back on schedule. Henderson completed her first round, a 1-over par 73, on Thursday before the winds hit.
She didn’t tee off until almost 5 p.m. local time for her second round on Friday.
Standing in the middle of the first fairway Friday evening with the sun having sunk behind the San Jacinto Mountains, she was 3-over par for the tournament. The cut is projected at 1-over for the top 70 and ties.
That left Henderson in danger of missing her second cut in a row after having missed just three since her first season as a pro in 2015.
Henderson will return to finish the back nine of her second round at 10:15 a.m. Saturdayand she’s probably going to have to be 2-under par for those nine holes to make the cut.
She’s going to have to find some answers to the inventory of problems which have left her in this position.
Where to start? She has a two-way miss with the driver and her putter is cold.
There were still some moments of brilliance on Friday. Her recovery after driving into trees on the left on the 10th hole (her first of the day) was remarkable. Under some branches, hooking, over a bunker to five feet.
But as has been typical lately, she missed the putt. It could have been a real momentum builder for her. Instead of a bogey, she had a disappointing par.
She almost holed out for eagle on the par-5 11th and tapped in her only birdie of the afternoon. She missed from about seven feet on 12. She made from 15 feet for par on 13 after being forced to layup on the par-4 after missing the fairway right, but then hit two tentative chips on the par-3 14th and par-4 15th (after she missed the fairway left) and made back-to-back bogeys.
She three-putted the 17th from the fringe for another bogey and made par on the par-5 18th.
Henderson’s got a lot going on right now, not the least of which not being able to make putts which can create or sustain momentum in a round.
She got the chance to take a knee when the horn sounded in the gathering darkness on Friday.
Maybe she can sleep on it and find some answers for Saturday.
Full Canadian Update
It may be a Canadian-free Sunday at the ANA Inspiration. Henderson is the last realistic hope to make the cut for the trio of northerners competing. Alena Sharp completed her first two rounds at +6 (74-76), while Maude Aimee Leblanc is +8 with 6 holes to play in her second round. They sat at t-92 and t-100, respectively, as play was suspended on Friday.
Follow Chris Stevenson on Twitter @CJ_Stevenson for live Henderson updates from the ANA Inspiration