GLEN COVE, N.Y. – Brooke Mackenzie Henderson birdied the last two holes of the morning round to take a 2-up lead over Kristen Gillman going into lunch at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. The 36-hole final resumes at 1:30 p.m. EDT.
Henderson stuffed it to 1 foot on the 17th hole with a wedge from 116 yards and then drained a 7-foot birdie putt on the 18th. It was a solid display of golf from the two 16-year-old finalists who combined for two bogeys over the immaculate and difficult Nassau Country Club. Henderson finished 3 under while Gillman was 1 under.
Henderson, a native of Smiths Falls, Ontario, is trying to become the first Canadian to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur since Cathy Sherk in 1978. She’s Golfweek’s No. 1-ranked amateur and is No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings behind Minjee Lee.
Gillman, No. 2 in Golfweek’s junior rankings, is playing in her first Women’s Amateur. She obliterated the field at last week’s Junior PGA and had 12 hours at home in Austin, Texas, before flying to Long Island. The Alabama recruit has her father on the bag. Her older sister, Emily, a freshman at Nebraska, flew in to watch today’s action as well as her coach, Justin Poynter, of the Jim McLean Academy in Fort Worth, Texas.
Henderson’s family has been in town most of the week. Older sister Brittany, a budding pro, is caddying. Rumor has it that a bus of supporters from Smiths Falls is en route to Long Island. It’s about an eight-hour drive.