Brooke Henderson is off to the right start in her attempt to win three straight LPGA Cambia Portland Classic titles. That’s hard to fathom when you consider she is still more than a week away from turning 20 years of age.
Coming off a tie for 12th under tremendous pressure at the CP Women’s Open in Ottawa, the teen and major championship winner opened her title defence in at the Columbia Edgewater Golf Club with a score of 67 (-5).
As she left the course in the morning wave Henderson was one stroke off the lead of In Gee Chun.
Brooke had just one blemish on her card on Thursday, on the par 3, 8th hole. Overall it was a fairly clean round that saw her hit 10/14 fairways and 15/18 greens in regulation.
She was asked if it felt like she was starting back right where she left off last year.
“A little bit. I would’ve liked to finish a little bit lower today. I was 4-under through the front nine and things were going really well. I tried to make a few more birdies on the back but they just didn’t fall. Hopefully tomorrow I can play a little bit better on that side. 5-under is a great start.”
Even though it is a good start, Brooke is keenly aware that winning the same event three times in a row in a big feat.
“I think it’s just exciting for me to know that I have that opportunity to do that. Last year I wanted to defend really badly and that was kind of a main goal of mine. This year I would love to win again, but I know there are a lot of great players in the field this week and I will have to shoot minus-5 or better every single day.”
It has already been a good week for Henderson. She recorded her 5th career hole in one on Wednesday during the Pro-Am, playing alongside LPGA Hall of Fame member Nancy Lopez.
It was also a positive first round for a couple other Canadians. Hamilton’s Alena Sharp started her week with a 69 (-3) while Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Quebec turned in a 70 (-2).
Jennifer Ha of Calgary struggled to a 75 while Augusta James of Bath, Ontario.was still on the course and over par at the time of this post.