LONDON, Ont. – Safely in position to make the cut after her second round at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, amateur Brooke Henderson still talked like playing on the weekend was in doubt.
“I left a lot of opportunities out there and missed a lot of birdies, but that’s OK,” she said. “If I play the weekend, we’ll get them.”
Saying “if” wasn’t necessary. After shooting a 1-under-par 71 to get to 3 under for the tournament, the 16-year-old will get those opportunities Saturday and Sunday.
Henderson was one of four Canadians to make the cut, along with Jennifer Kirby, amateur Jennifer Ha and Sue Kim. Henderson will move on after not making it past the second round in this event the past two years.
“I’m a lot more comfortable on the big stage,” Henderson said. “It’s awesome, because when I was out here at 14, I was pretty nervous and didn’t really know anybody. Now, I know quite a few of the pros and they know me. I’m more comfortable in the big setting with all the fans and all the cameras.”
Henderson has to be with all the attention on her this week at London Hunt and Country Club. Playing in a group with Kirby of Paris, Ont., and Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Toronto, Henderson was still the main draw.
Following a second-place finish at the U.S. Amateur and a tie for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open, Henderson has high expectations on her as the future face of Canadian golf. She doesn’t know what her secret is, but the soon-to-be 17-year-old doesn’t flinch at the exposure she’s getting.
“It’s a challenge to be able to play well for (fans), and I love it,” the Smiths Falls, Ont., native said. “I know they’re all cheering for me, so really it’s positive energy.”
Kirby used some of that positive energy to remain as the low Canadian at 5 under with an even-par 72 Friday. That had her 10 strokes off the lead, held by South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu.
“I didn’t make a lot of birdie putts, but I made a lot of par saves,” Kirby said. “Hopefully I can go a little lower on the weekend.”
Ha, who’s from Calgary, had the best morning round of any Canadian with a 3-under 69 to get her to 3 under for the tournament. Kim of Langley, B.C., just made it a 1 under.
Lee-Bentham, Sara-Maude Juneau of Fossambault, Que., Natalie Gleadall of Stratford, Ont., and Elizabeth Tong of Thornhill, Ont., missed by a stroke at even par.
Lorie Kane (Charlottetown), Alena Sharp (Hamilton) and Jessica Wallace (Langley) were 1 over, Maude-Aimee LeBlanc (Sherbrooke, Que.) was 2 over, Samantha Richdale (Kelowna, B.C.) was 3 over, Erica Rivard (Tecumseh, Ont.) was 4 over and Nicole Vandermade (Brantford, Ont.) was 5 over.