An ace and the second round lead made for a pretty good day as Canada’s Brooke Henderson vaulted her way to the top of the leaderboard at the Buick LPGA Shanghai on Friday.
Seeking her third win on tour this season and starting the day in a share of 5th place, the Smiths Falls, Ontario pro made a one on her second hole of the day and, despite a bogey on the next hole, did not look back on her way to a round of 64 (-8). She believes it is her seventh ace.
At -11 total she carries a lead of two strokes over Jessica Korda into the third round.
Henderson, coming off a short break where she was able to spend some time back in Canada with family, was elated with the unlikely start to the day and all that followed.
“I got a lot of breaks out there today, including the hole-in-one. It was a 9-iron for me. I didn’t see it at all, and then Olly, one of the caddies in our group, turned and said, “That went in.” We were like “What, really!” That was pretty cool. It definitely got my day started in the right direction. I got a lot of breaks and was able to make some putts. Eight under, I’m really happy with that, especially with how windy it was today.”
Although she finished t-26 last year on Qizhong Garden Golf Club in the inaugural playing of this tournament, Henderson says she believes the layout is a good fit for her.
“I really like this golf course,” she commented after her round. “I feel like it does suit my game really well. You really have to stay patient and pay attention to the wind conditions. It’s important to hit a lot of fairways and the greens are so large that you’re doing to hit a lot of greens, but the proximity to the hole is really important. Hopefully Britt will give me some good numbers over the weekend and we’ll see what happens.”
Heading into the week Brooke is in second place in the CME Ranking as the year heads to a conclusion. She’s content with her play so far (including two wins and ten top-tens) but the goal of being on top at the end of the season still looms.
On the subject she added, “I think for the remainder of the year I only have four events left, so hopefully put myself in contention on the weekends and then hopefully go low and just see what happens.”
The remainder of the LPGA’s Asian Swing will see them play in Korea, Taiwan, in Japan over the next three weeks.
The season will conclude at the CME Group TOUR Championship on November 21-24 in Naples, Florida.
Coincidentally, Henderson also happens to have a home close to the Naples area. A win this week in Shanghai would set her up nicely for that season-ending event, and quite a homecoming.
Canada’s Alena Sharp is tied for 29th in Shanghai at even par.