On a day when her momentum shifted back and forth, Brooke Henderson gained on the Kemper Lakes Golf Course on her very last hole to take a share of the lead through 36 holes at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
Seeking both her second Major Championship and her seventh LPGA title, the Canadian added a second round of 71 to her opening 67 to reach six under par alongside So Yeon Ryu and Sung Hyun Park. The trio persevered on a day when high heat and a rapidly drying course limited the scoring ability of the field. Throw in a ever-present breeze and any score near par was impressive in Kildeer, Illinois.
It was a push-pull kind of day for the Canadian from Smiths Falls as Henderson started the round one back of Park but could not seem to gain much more than a stroke at any point. Her five birdies were offset by four bogies but the day was not a complete failure from Brooke, who recognized early that scoring would be at a premium.
“I would have liked to have shot a little bit better today, but 1-under when it was so hot and so windy, I’ll take it,” she shared after her round.
She might have swallowed it as well had it not been for the closing 12-foot birdie that put her at the top of the board.
“Yeah, it was kind of up-and-down all day. I made some birdies but I countered them with bogeys, so to finish off with a nice birdie putt on 18 gives me a lot of confidence going into tomorrow.”
She added on the subject, “Definitely the birdies are a good sign, the bogeys not so much. But it was kind of playing tough early this morning, it was really windy, and it just took a couple holes to kind of adjust to that, and then down the stretch to make that birdie putt on 18, it really meant a lot because I felt like I wasn’t really happy with my round, but that makes me feel a little bit better.”
The day did not go as well for Henderson’s fellow Canadians, but three others will still play the weekend in Illinois. That includes Maude-Aimee Leblanc and Alena Sharp who were within the top ten after round one. Leblanc came up with a 77 on Friday and now shares 36th place. Sharp tumbled down the board with a 78 to slip above the cut line in a share of 64th. She shares that position with Orangeville, Ontario’s Brittany Marchand who has recorded rounds of 71 and 76 so far.
Anne Catherine Tanguay missed the cut at 150 total.