Regina, Saskatchewan – To little surprise, the leading female golfer in Canada is the top Canadian after round one of the 2018 CP Women’s Open in Regina. Better yet, Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ontario is just two strokes of the lead as she attempts to become just the second person from her country to win the national title in the history of the event. But she will have a crowded leaderboard to contend with over the next three days in Regina.
Leading the way at eight under par are a trio of international players, 2016 CP Women’s Open Champion Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand), Mariajo Uribe (Colombia) and Nasa Hataoka (Japan). The host nation’s big hope, Henderson, will be chasing them when she begins her second round early on Friday.
Her deficit might have been one less had she started a little more smoothly on Thursday but under immense pressure of a home crowd she had an early stumble. Thankfully for her prospects, she rebounded nicely on her way to a 66 (-6). It puts her in a share of 6th place.
“Yeah, it was really solid today,” she shared after the round about her satisfaction with the result. “I kind of got off to a little bit of a shaky start with a bogey on the 1st hole, but I made a ton of birdies today and that’s always a really good sign. I feel like I it hit the ball in good places and gave myself a lot have opportunities. Just fortunately my putter was really working today. So I’m happy to get 6-under, but as you can see, the leaderboard is full of under-par rounds. Hopefully I can do something similar tomorrow.”
Even with the position the 20 year-old felt she could have been even better if she had taken full advantage of her driving to score better on the longer holes at Wascana Country Club.
“Yeah, you know, par-5s you can definitely take advantage here, but as you can see with me, that was kind of my game plan and I just kind of ran into trouble a little bit on them. But I think if I can capitalize on those over the next three days, then my score can be even a little bit lower.”
Day two of the championship may play out a little differently when it comes to scoring. 108 players broke par on Thursday in calm conditions but the forecast projects more wind as players push to get into the weekend.
Asked how she would adjust if the weather plays out, Henderson did not seem phased. In fact, from the sounds of it, she believes it will play into her hands as one of the better ball-strikers on the LPGA TOUR.
“I think this course is meant to be windy, so I think some holes can kind of play in your favor that way. It’s just going to be a challenge for the whole field. Hopefully I still hit the ball in good places, give myself a lot of the birdie looks, and hopefully capitalize.”
She hopes to build on first official lap of the historic course as she looks to make a run at the trophy.
“You know, today was a great round. If I can do something like this over the next three days I think good things could happen. I’m just taking it a shot at a time and day by day and hopefully climbing up the leaderboard a little bit every day.”
The Canadian Story
A total of three Canadians besides Henderson are inside the projected cutline of -2 after day one. At 68 (-4) , National Team member Naomi Ko (t-18) was the best of the amateurs and had the second-best round of the sixteen Canadians who teed it up.
The others inside the cut line are Maude-Aimee Leblanc (-2, t-52), the same number put up by another Quebec native, Anne-Catherine Tanguay.
Other Canadian Scores
Alena Sharp (-1) t-80
Celeste Dao (-1) t-80
Ellie Szeryk (E) t-109
Elizabeth Tong (+1) t-120
Augusta James (+2) t-133
Brittany Marchand (+2) t-133
Megan Osland (+3) t-142
Jennifer Ha (+3) t-142
Tiffany Kong (+4) t-148
Anna Young (+6) 150th
Bobbi Brandon (+11) t-153
Lorie Kane (+11) t-153