August 24, 2018
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
For the second consecutive day in a row, Brooke Henderson would shoot a 66, launching herself one stroke behind the clubhouse leader Amy Yang. But the two rounds could not have been any more different. On Thursday, Henderson got off to a shaky start, bogeying the opening hole before she went on a stretch of six birdies in seven holes.
In today’s second round, Brooke would chip in for birdie from the fairway, providing the impetus to shoot a low score for the rest of the day.
“It was a great way to start,” said Henderson after her round. “To make the birdie, from a 55-yard shot, I was really happy and it definitely gave me a lot of confidence during the day.”
After that opening birdie, the Canadian phenom would end up going four under of the next six holes. But as the round went on, the wind started to pick up, making the conditions of the golf course more difficult. As we have seen all throughout her illustrious young career, these external distractions like the weather do not phase Henderson, demonstrated by shooting three under on the back 9.
“The wind was strong all day, but definitely on my last five holes. It was constantly changing direction and tough with firm and fast greens. But I feel like the course is definitely playable. Brit [Henderson’s caddie] and I did a great job overall today just trying to manage our way around the golf course.”
While Henderson played her best to put herself into the final group on Saturday, it was Amy Yang who stole the show during the second round at Wascana Country Club. She shot a seven-under 65, launching her way to the top of the leaderboard at 13-under par. Her strength today was her putting, only needing 26 putts to get her nine birdies on the card.
“My putting was really good today,” stated Yang after her round. “I was hitting it solidly out there and making the most out of all my good chances.”
None of the afternoon groups, which consisted of former Canadian Open champions Ariya Jutanugarn and Lydia Ko, got close to Yang’s score of 13 under par. She credits playing earlier in the morning before the heavy winds swept across Wascana Country Club in the afternoon.
“During the last three holes, a lot of shots were into the wind or really strong left to right. We are pretty used to windy weather given our experience playing in the Open Championship. But it still makes it difficult to play. We got lucky teeing off in the morning.”
Heading into Moving Day, Yang will be in the final group playing alongside Brooke Henderson. With the raucous Canadian crowds expected to follow their group, the young Korean star is looking forward to the opportunity to showcase her talented game, which has been on the upswing the last few weeks.
“I’ve been hitting it very solid the last few weeks and putting very well. I am so surprised how many people have come out already on the weekdays. I’m looking forward to seeing them again on the weekend.”
For a second round Friday, the Canadian crowd came out in full force, supporting their top country superstar Brooke Henderson. Despite Henderson living in Ontario, very far from Regina, Saskatchewan, the cheers are still very loud for her, especially when she is rolling in birdies.
“Walking up the 9th hole, to see that many people there to watch me finish was incredible,” exclaimed Henderson. “I didn’t expect this many people to be cheering me on, but I’m pleasantly surprised, and hopefully I can just keep playing great golf for them over the weekend.”
It also helped today for Brooke to be playing with players that pushed her to be successful on the course. World number one Sung Hyun Park shot the low round of the day with a 64, sitting only three back of the lead. In many of her victories, including her major championship win this year, she has come from behind to emerge victorious. So heading into the weekend at the Canadian Open, she is in a familiar spot.
“Today, everything felt really good from tee to putting. We made good club selections to handle the wind so I felt very comfortable during the round and am looking forward to the weekend,” stated Park.
Once again, Henderson is in a familiar spot at the top of the leaderboard. The pressure and expectations will be enormous for the young Canadian, trying to be the first golfer from Canada since 1973 to capture the Canadian Open. But she is ready to embrace the opportunity and feed off the energy of the enthusiastic crowds to propel herself to victory.
“It’s a lot of fun, especially when you’re playing well. You love those cheers and you love when you hear your name and know that they’re all there behind you. I would say it’s definitely a lot easier to play in front of them when you’re playing really well, so hopefully, I keep it up.”