Almost a half-inch of morning rain didn’t stop Brooke Henderson from making important progress during the second round of the CP Women’s Open on Friday. It also didn’t stop hundreds of fans either from following the Ontario native around Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club to support that progress. Canada’s all-time winningest professional golfer started the day at -2, a score dangerously close to the cut line, but finished at -5 after another solid sub-70 round.
“Not the position I wanted to be in, but I'm playing the weekend and I have amazing crowds and amazing fans out here cheering me on,” Henderson said. “I feel like if I can make a couple birdies early, maybe I can ride some momentum and make a ton tomorrow.”
The highlight of the day for Henderson came seconds before lightning in the area suspended play for nearly two hours. The two-time major champion sank a 20-foot birdie putt just as the air horn blew, with the blast quickly drowned out by an eruption of cheers.
“I hit it and I was kind of startled because I heard the sound (of the air horn), so it was nice to see it go in and it was kind of cool,” she laughed. “My brother-in-law was calling me Michael Jordan for the buzzer beater.”
Henderson’s ball striking was nearly perfect throughout the round. She hit 10 of 13 fairways and 17 of 18 greens. The one green she missed was on the par-4 seventh hole, when her second found the right bunker. A chip and two putts earned the 24-year-old her first of two bogeys on Friday, but it was a “good bogey” according to Henderson.
“To kind of scramble bogey from there was huge. It felt like a birdie or even an eagle to keep the day going,” she said. “Dumb of me to be in that right bunker; I know better than that. I thought I had the shot with the hybrid; unfortunately hit the lip.”
Heading into Moving Day, Henderson hopes to make a charge like the one she made on Saturday in 2017, the last time the CP Women’s Open was played at Ottawa Hunt. That day, she fired off eight birdies in a bogey-free round to set a course-record 63, which was broken on Thursday by Paula Reto with a 62. To repeat her performance of five years ago, Henderson will have to find and capitalize on the birdie opportunities, which she says are out there.
“There were a lot of low scores out there, and with the afternoon wave still to go, I will be quite a bit behind,” said Henderson, who sits eight strokes out of the lead. “Hopefully I can just do the next two days what (the low scoring players) did the first two days and then we will see where we are.”