Henderson leads in Hawaii after pair of bogey-free rounds
4/13/2018 4:26:16 AM EST
Brooke Henderson fired a 6-under 66 to surge to the top of the leaderboard at the Lotte Championship on Thursday in Kapolei, Hawaii.
Henderson, a 20-year-old from Canada, improved to 10 under for the tournament. She has won four of five tournaments when leading after 36 holes. Henderson is bogey-free through two rounds after carding six birdies and 12 pars on the event's second day.
"I've hit the ball in a lot of great spots," Henderson said to the Golf Channel after her round. "I've given myself a lot of birdie opportunities, which has been a lot of fun. Taken some of the pressure off. My putter has been really key. When I've had to make par putts, I've been able to do it.
"Hopefully, that continues over the next two days."
Mo Martin of the United States and Shanshan Feng of China are tied for second at 8 under, two strokes behind Henderson. Martin shot a 5-under 67 on Thursday, while Feng registered a 3-under 69. Feng, the Day 1 leader, is seeking her first title since taking over the No. 1 world ranking last fall.
American Lindy Duncan, Pernilla Lindberg of Sweden and Inbee Park of South Korea also are in contention at 6 under, four strokes off the lead. All are tied for fourth place heading into the tournament's final 36 holes.
Mother Nature could increase the difficulty level in the final two rounds. Forecasts call for increased winds heading into the weekend.
Lindberg, who won her first major championship at the ANA Inspiration two weeks ago, shot a 68 on Thursday after an opening-round 70. She carded six birdies, including five in a six-hole stretch beginning on No. 10, and hit 17 of 18 greens.
"I absolutely think so," Lindberg said when asked if the conditions were easier Thursday morning than during her first round. "Yesterday we had, even for Hawaii standards, a really breezy afternoon. And then this morning it was actually really calm. So I really took advantage of that.
"I just have so much more confidence out here. The whole week at ANA, I learned so many things about myself. Leading a major wire-to-wire. Being able to beat Inbee (Park) in an eight-hole playoff. All that little doubt I had before ... I kind of got rid of that."
Defending champion Cristie Kerr struggled with a 3-over 75 on Thursday, which put her at 2 over for the tourney. Meanwhile, Honolulu resident Michelle Wie sits at 1 over entering the final two rounds after she shot a 72 on Wednesday and a 73 on Thursday.
--Field Level Media