It’s been an interesting season thus far for Canadian Brooke Henderson. She started the year with a bang, capturing her 13th LPGA Tour victory at the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, but has fallen off the wagon a bit, missing two cuts in her seven starts since the win with a best finish of T11 at the LOTTE Championship presented by Hoakalei. However, Henderson seems to be on the up through two rounds at the Mizuho Americas Open, going 69-70 on Thursday and Friday to sit at 5-under overall, squarely in the mix with the weekend at Liberty National Golf Club on tap.
Her second round got off to a rough start as Henderson made a double bogey on the par-4, 1st hole, but she recovered quickly with three consecutive birdies on holes 3, 4 and 5. She broke even with a bogey on No. 7 and a birdie on No. 9 to turn in 35, and then made two birdies on 12 and 17 and one bogey on 13 to post a 2-under 70.
“Definitely a rough start, but it was nice to bounce back with three birdies in a row pretty quick and get it back under par for the day, which felt nice,” said Henderson. “To overall finish at 2-under today I'm really happy with, just with the start and how windy it is. The conditions were kind of tough at times. It was a solid day and I'm really excited for the weekend.”
Though it has played host to a slew of PGA Tour events, Liberty National is a new venue for the LPGA Tour and has demanded a lot out of the world’s best through the first 36 holes. Henderson said the hardest part for her have been the greens and that she’s been leaning heavily on her sister and caddie, Brittany, to help her see the lines and read her putts.
“They're tricky to read. I've been depending a lot on my sister, my caddie, Brit. She's been doing a good job. Just over the next few days continue to try to get the pace on them and hopefully see a few of them go in,” said Henderson. “I don't see very well, so she's just trying to help me out a little bit tending the flag. But when she holds it out in front when we're still reading it, it's just a good method that we've used over the last seven years or so. My coach thinks it's a good way for us to read the greens and give myself a good opportunity to make the putt.”
As Henderson looks to chase down her 14th career LPGA Tour victory over the weekend, the 25-year-old will be paying close attention to the conditions. Wind is always a factor at Liberty National as the course sits directly on the Upper New York Bay and Henderson says that is what will really make the difference in scoring on Saturday and Sunday – how hard and fast the wind blows.
“All just depends on the conditions and the wind. It's very strong and picks up a lot in the afternoon, so depending on when our tee times are it's going to play a little bit of havoc,” she said. “So we just have to play smart, but when we have a good number and can make a good swing, then we can be aggressive and chase some birdies.”