Tireless, young Brooke Henderson will take the solo lead into another weekend in an LPGA event.
After finishing third at the Swinging Skirts Classic outside San Francisco on Sunday and enduring flight delays in a race against the clock to make a Monday qualifier at the North Texas Shootout, Henderson is improbably back atop another leaderboard.
The 17-year-old from Canada posted Friday low round with a 6-under-par 65. She also shot a 65 last Friday to take the weekend lead at the Swinging Skirts Classic.
At 8-under 134, Henderson is one stroke ahead of Hall of Famer Juli Inkster (69) and Rolex world No. 2 Inbee Park (66).
“I learned a lot from last week, and I'm excited to be in the same position,” Henderson said in her post-round meeting with reporters. “Hopefully, it will just turn out a little better.”
Henderson will play with Inkster and Park in the final group Saturday. At 54, Inkster isn’t just old enough to be Henderson’s mother. She’s old enough to be her grandmother.
“I think that's what intrigues everybody about golf, no matter if you take it up at 40 or take it up at 10,” Inkster said.
Despite coming up short in her bid to win last week, Henderson said she relished the experience of playing in a final Sunday pairing.
“I'm very much a feel player, and I had like a lot of emotions,” Henderson said. “I really don't know how to explain it, but just the way I feel. I learned a lot from the atmosphere last week and just watching some of the other players.”
Henderson took a one-shot lead into the final round last weekend, lost it, but then found herself with a 27-foot birdie chance to get into a playoff at the end of regulation. She missed the putt, met with reporters after and then scrambled off to the San Francisco airport to fly to Dallas for this week's Monday qualifier. Flight delays, however, kept her in San Francisco until 4 a.m. She didn’t get to Las Colinas until about four hours before her Monday tee time and ended up surviving a playoff for the final spot in this week's field.
If Henderson wins an LPGA event as a non-member, she can claim membership for the rest of this year and through next year. That said, she would have to gain a waiver of the LPGA’s rule requiring members be 18 years old. Henderson turns 18 on Sept. 10.