Henderson Cruises Into Weekend at US Women’s Open

Play was suspended late Friday evening at the United States Women’s Open but with a projected cutline of +6 it looks as if two Canadians will make it to the weekend and both are very familiar faces in Eastern Ontario.

Leading the way for the Canadians was Sherbrooke, Quebec’s Maude-Aimee Leblanc.  It’s the same M-A Leblanc who shot 63 at the Camelot Golf & Country Club in Cumberland in 2008 to win the Quebec Amateur. Later that summer she dazzled Ottawa golf fans when she kept up off the tee with playing partner Michelle Wie at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club during the CN Canadian Women’s Open.

Now a pro, Leblanc is the one still alive at Sebonack while Michelle Wie will have the weekend off.

With several players left to finish their second round on Long Island, Leblanc sat at +2 and a share of 23rd place.  Her forst round 69 was followed up by a 77 under much tougher circumstances.

The story was much the same for 15 year-old amateur Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls who fought to a 76 on day two, seemingly a high score but not much higher than the average of a day when the winds were up and the pins were tucked, not to mention an increase in course yardage from the day one set-up.

Henderson has certainly grabbed the attention of many, given her age, but those who know her well are not shocked at her fine play in a major championship.  Although a writer for the Ottawa Citizen wrote last week that “Nobody really expects her to make the cut at Sebonack Golf Club…” he might have been wise to survey those really familiar with her game or even Brooke herself about the expectations for this week.

At +3 and currently in a tie for 32nd Henderson may be well back of the Inbee Park’s lead at -9 but you can bet that aiming at the cutline was not the target for the young Team Canada member.  Now it looks like she will have two more days to showcase her skills on the biggest stage possible.

The eyes of Canada, and especially eastern Ontario, will be watching with interest all weekend long.