Brooke Henderson got off to a fast start going out and held on coming in for a solid round of 69 on Friday at the AIG Women’s Open.
The result left her in a tie for 12th spot, three shots off the lead as the afternoon wave was heading out.
Henderson made birdies on four holes on the front side at Carnoustie Golf Links and then played the back side in one over, with eight pars and the bogey on the par-3 16th.
Her tee shot on that hole came up short and right of the green and a pitch left her with a challenging 12-footer for par, which she was unable to drain.
“It was nice to get four under on the front nine today,” said Henderson, who played in a jacket to ward off the cool temperatures. “That was nice. Unfortunately, I dropped a shot on 16. That's a really tough hole but happy to be climbing up the leaderboard a little bit and hopefully I can go out over the weekend and continue to play smart and make some birdies.”
Despite two good rounds in the books, Henderson realizes she has a lot of work to do to catch up to the leaders, including the world’s top-ranked player, Nelly Korda.
“Nelly is just teeing off now,” she said. “She's probably going to go pretty low, and a lot of other players this afternoon. So, I'll probably be quite a few shots back, but anything can happen over two days.”
Without much links golf experience, Henderson is still adjusting her game to the bumpy, hard, rolling fairways, the deep bunkers and the sloping greens.
Taking on the elements with those conditions makes it a difficult but fun challenge for the Smiths Falls, Ont., product. It also makes trying to win the Open Championship a goal.
“This is definitely on my bucket list,” said Henderson. “This would be really special. I'm not used to playing links golf growing up in Canada. Over last few years I really enjoyed the challenge of it and learning how to play different shots. I feel I'll have to play really well this weekend but hopefully things go my way.”