Fri, 10 Apr 2020

Henderson, Park share Tournament of Champions lead

Field Level Media
18 Jan 2020, 10:55 GMT+10

Brooke Henderson fired a 5-under 66 on Friday and shares the lead with Inbee Park after two rounds of the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Henderson had a chance to hold the lead alone but the Canadian star bogeyed 18 for a 9-under 133 through two rounds at the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando. South Korea's Park shot 68.

Mexico's Gaby Lopez (69 on Friday) is one shot off the lead. Tied for fourth at 7 under are France's Celine Boutier, Japan's Nasa Hataoka and South Korea's Sei Young Kim. The trio all shot 69 on day in which wind gusts were as high as 28 mph.

Henderson recorded four birdies and an eagle during her round.

Her final birdie came on 16 and the eagle followed on the next hole, a 525-yard, par-5. Henderson nearly had a double eagle as her 230-yard approach shot ended up about four inches from the hole for an easy tap-in.

"It was pretty downwind. I was kind of contemplating between 7-wood and 3-wood," said Henderson, who was third on the LPGA Tour in eagles in 2019 with 16. "At the last second, it sort of switched to maybe a little bit more crosswinds, so we pulled the 3-wood, and I'm really glad I did.

"I hit it, and I thought I hit it pretty well. (Caddie and sister) Brit (Henderson) was telling it to sit down, so I'm not sure where it hit on the green there, but it was nice to walk up and have that short putt for eagle."

The bogey on 18 left Henderson tied with Park, who had three birdies during a bogey-free round.

It was the second consecutive day without a bogey for Park, who has nine birdies over the first two rounds.

"It's a really nice way to start the year. I haven't made many mistakes on the golf course, and that's what I really look to do all year," Park said. "Hopefully, I can keep that going for the next two days. Today was definitely a little bit tougher conditions with the wind. I hit a lot longer clubs and missed a few greens, but I was able to make some great up and downs."

Lopez struggled early with two bogeys over the first six rounds. She had four birdies, including on 17 and 18 to sit third at the halfway point.

"Today was really windy at the beginning, so I couldn't play aggressive," Lopez, who was at 1-over 35 on the front nine. "I had to pick my target, and if I was in a fairway bunker, I had to just hit to the middle of the green. That's some of the things I didn't do. The conditions are going to determine how I play but going to be aggressive when I can."

Boutier's round included the season's first hole-in-one when she aced the 178-yard, par-3 No. 5 with a 4-iron.

"Super happy, excited," Boutier said after her round. "It's my second one, but my first one was like eight years ago, so it was definitely time for another one."

Overall, Boutier had three birdies and four eagles.

Hataoka had three birdies and one bogey, and Kim was all over the course during a round that included six birdies and four bogeys.

Still, it marked the 17th consecutive round in which Kim was under par.

"I'm very happy with that," Kim said. "Normally my play style is not consistent, very aggressive."

First-round leader Danielle Kang is in seventh place at 6-under 136 after shooting a 73. She had two birdies on the front nine and four bogeys on the back nine.

Lexi Thompson (71), Angela Stanford (72) and South Korea's Amy Yang (69) are tied for eighth at 5 under.

Defending champion Eun-Hee Ji (67) is tied for 17th at 1-under 141.

--Field Level Media

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