The face of the CP Canadian Womens Open did not disappoint on Thursday and either did her fans
20-year-old Brooke Henderson showed everyone why she is one of the top golfers in the world and why she is a legitimate threat to become the first Canadian to win the Open since 1973 as she fired a six-under 66 to sit two strokes off the lead.
To no one’s surprise, Henderson was the most popular golfer on the course and it was that way right from the time she started her round. Henderson started her 18 with a bogey which is obviously not how she wanted to start the event. As she sat on the tee box with many watching her every move, she admitted it was a little overwhelming.
“When I first teed off, the fairway was lined and I wasn’t necessarily expecting that. It was amazing. “Henderson said with a grin. The crowd stayed with me and even walking up 18, there were tons of people. “I didn’t think there would be that many, It was just important to me to have a good first round. It didn’t start that way, but I got on a roll before the front nine was over (picking up birdies on holes 4-5-6-7 and 9) so that was nice as it got my confidence back.
Henderson also wondered aloud if the support she was shown was similar to support shown to a certain football team.
“The crowds here are amazing. I think that is probably part of the Rough Riders coming out, which is really cool.” Henderson said.” When asked if some of those fans should return this weekend with watermelons on their head, the Smith Falls, Ontario native said that would be pretty funny.
The leaders are Ariya Juturnagan of Thailand, Mariajo Uribe and Japan’s Nasa Hatoaka. All three shot a course record 64.
Uribe, who hails from Colombia, says she took advantage of going out early and dealing with calm conditions.
I just think I took advantage of the opportunity going out early with a little cold but no wind. I had nine really good birdie chances on the first nine holes,” she said. “I stayed patient and then end up with a couple birdies on the front nine, so that was good.”
While it was a good day for many, it wasn’t a good day for the two Saskatchewan golfers in the field. Saskatoon’s Anna Young shot a 6 over 78 while Bobbi Brandon had an 83 meaning it will be tough for both to make the cut after Friday’s round.
T6 – Brooke Henderson – 66 (-6)
T18 – Naomi Ko (a) – 68 (-4)
T52 – Maude-Aimee Leblanc – 70 (-2)
T52 – Anne-Catherine Tanguay – 70 (-2)
T80 – Alena Sharp – 71 (-1)
T80 – Céleste Dao (a) – 71 (-1)
T109 – Ellie Szeryk – 72 (E)
T120 – Elizabeth Tong – 73 (+1)
T133 – Augusta James – 74- (+2)
T133 – Brittany Marchand – 74- (+2)
T142 – Megan Osland – 75 (+3)
T142 – Jennifer Ha – 75 (+3)
T148 – Tiffany Kong (a) – 76 (+4)
151 – Anna Young – 78 (78)
T153 – Bobbi Brandon – 83 (+11)
T153 – Lorie Kane – 83 (+11)
The complete leaderboard and tee-times for Friday’s second round can be found here.