Henderson grabs early lead at Women’s PGA Championship

Brooke Henderson  AFP PHOTO

Brooke Henderson

LOS ANGELES: Canada’s Brooke Henderson birdied three of her final four holes en route to a four-under 67 for a two-shot lead after the opening round of the Women’s PGA Championship on Thursday (Friday in Manila).

The 18-year-old Henderson had a hole-in-one on the 152-yard 13th hole with a seven-iron.

“It was a pretty good day today,” Henderson said. “I was trying to get under par, but it’s tough to say how hard this course was going to play going into today and for the rest of the weekend.”

American Christina Kim and South Korea’s Kim In-Kyung also played in the morning wave and were the only other players to post rounds in the 60s, with both shooting two-under 69.

Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, the hottest player on the Tour right now having won her past three tournaments, finished in a large group of players at one under. She birdied her last two holes on Thursday.

The top group of the morning session featured Lydia Ko from Australia and Americans Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis. Ko had a pair of birdies to go with two bogeys in an even round of 71.

“There’s still so many things to focus on and think about here,” Ko said. “There’s still a lot of golf to be played.

“A lot of the girls are playing good golf. We know it’s tough. So we’ve got to stay patient.”

Lewis was two under through 10 holes, but she bogeyed three of her final five holes to finish at two over.

Second-ranked Park In-Bee qualified for the LPGA Hall of Fame by completing the first round.

Active players become eligible after playing 10 years on the tour.

Park, who is battling a hand injury which caused her to take time off from the Tour, is five shots off the lead.



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