Is she can maintain her current pace and separation from the field, the possibility exists of a win this week at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions for Brooke Henderson. If she can pull it off she would tie the win record of the best Canadians to ever play her sport.
At -10 (65-67), she holds a two-stroke lead with 36 holes left to play in LPGA’s limited-field, opening event of the season.
It’s certainly no guarantee, but the possibility exists. An eighth LPGA victory for Henderson would match the career individual win totals of the all-time Canadian major tour winners: Sandra Post (LPGA), George Knudson (PGA TOUR) and Mike Weir (PGA TOUR). And she’s just twenty-one years of age.
Henderson’s guiding light this week has been her play with her favorite club, the driver. Through two rounds she has yet to miss a fairway (26/26) at the Four Seasons Golf & Sports Club in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Her second round, one she played alongside Golf Channel show host Blair O’Neal and U.S. Davis Cup Captain Mardy Fish, saw Henderson mix in four birdies with fourteen pars.
That was enough to keep her on top of the board for most of the day on Friday, and gives her a slim lead to start round three. She is two strokes ahead of Ariya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko, and her first round co-leader, Eun-Hee Ji.
Up and Down
The four birdies was three short of what Henderson tallied in round one despite hitting the same number of greens in regulation, but she was not disappointed at the final outcome.
“Overall, I felt like I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities,” she shared post-round. “I didn’t really make them most of the time, but my ball striking has been pretty good this week, and I’m really happy about that. Holes that I did run into a little bit of trouble, I was able to get up and down, which is really nice. Overall, I’m happy to be in the position I’m in, and hopefully keep it going over the weekend.”
While the numbers of her scorecard looked steady on Friday, her play was not flawless, but Brooke was pleased at how she dealt with any adversity.
“It was just a couple holes that were a little shaky. That might be just coming out of the off-season. But on the whole, I was able to get up and down. The rest of the time, I was giving myself great birdie looks. They just didn’t fall today, as many as I would have liked. I still shot 4 under, which is good. But hopefully tomorrow I can go out and make a few more putts.”
In a talented field of only tournament winners, closing out another victory will be no easy task for Brooke Henderson. But she’s in the best position she could be with two days to go.
She conveyed,”…it’s always fun to be in the final group and be in contention. It’s what we play for pretty much every single week. It’s nice to be here. It’s only the halfway point, but I still need to make a lot of birdies and keep hitting it to win.”
– Scott MacLeod, Associate Publisher, Flagstick.com