VANCOUVER — Brooke Henderson — and her fans — can breathe a sigh of relief after she made the cut at the CPKC Women's Open.
Henderson is very much the star of the show at the Canadian women's golf championship but she was in danger of not seeing the weekend when she shot a 3-over 75 in the first round. She recovered with a solid 4 under on Friday to sit in a tie for 11th and make the cut by three shots.
"It's not a good feeling," said Henderson about starting the day in a position to be cut when she's the face of Canada's only LPGA Tour event. "I think the big key for me today was just try to get off to a fast start, try to hit a bunch of fairways and greens, and try to give myself some good looks."
Henderson, from Smiths Falls, Ont., has the most wins of any Canadian professional golfer. Ranked No. 10 in the world, Henderson's image adorns most of the promotional material for the Women's Open.
"It was much better today," said Henderson, who won the CP Women's Open in 2018. "Feels really good to get back under par.
"Feels like I fought really hard to get back under par, so I'm really happy about that."
Henderson and Hamilton's Alena Sharp (76) were the only two Canadians to make the cut on Friday. Sharp finished the day tied for 33rd at 1 over.
"The thing about golf is that I feel like it's 95 per cent mental," said Henderson, with dozens of fans waiting nearby for her autograph. "That hasn't been my sharpest asset this year, especially the last few weeks.
"Mentally it's just a grind, golf, sometimes. Sometimes it seems really easy and other times you just really have to persevere."
Megan Khang of the United States was the second-round leader at 7 under. She was tied for 13th after the first round and shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to move into the top spot in the morning wave.
No one in the afternoon's groups was able to catch her.
"Each day is different but mid-round my ball striking got pretty hot and then my putter was just getting hot as well," said Khang. "So I'm staying patient out there.
"The front nine felt monotonous making just one birdie, but on this kind of golf course par is definitely your friend."
Sweden's Linn Grant went 1-under 71 on Friday morning to hold on to second at 6-under overall. First-round leader Yuka Saso (73) of Japan and South Korea's Jin Young Ko (70) were tied for third at 5 under.
Grant has finished no worse than 20th since winning the Dana Open on July 13. She said that her first victory on the LPGA Tour has boosted her confidence.
"I mean, I would like to see my name up there," said Grant. "That's what I play for, so obviously I'm just trying to get used to that feeling more and more because that's where I want to be."
An air quality advisory in the metro Vancouver area was declared in the morning due to smoke from ongoing wildfires in British Columbia's Interior region. That advisory included Shaughnessy but its course remained relatively clear of smoke due to strong winds off the nearby Fraser River.
"I did notice (the smoke) at the beginning of the day. I was like, 'Oh, this is different,'" said Sharp. "Then I checked my phone before we went out and saw that it was higher, way higher than normal."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2023.
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press