OTTAWA, Ontario – In Gee Chun took the lead Friday in the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, and Canadian star Brooke Henderson did just enough to stick around for the weekend at Ottawa Hunt.
Chun closed with a birdie on the par-5 ninth for her second straight 4-under 67, giving the South Korean player a two-stroke lead over Americans Mo Martin, Brittany Lincicome and Marina Alex.
”I really like playing in Canada, so just enjoy everything,” Chun said. ”I was surprised how many people came out here. I know Canadian people like the sport. I really like it and appreciate it.”
Henderson, the 19-year-old fan favorite from nearby Smiths Falls, followed her opening 74 with a 69 to make the cut on the number at 1 over.
”I know everybody’s out here looking to support me, to cheer me on,” Henderson said. ”I know they’re all on my side. I just want to perform to the best of my abilities. I was a little disappointed yesterday after the way I played. Early in the round today I was as well. But I was able to turn it around. I knew they were right behind me the whole way.”
Also closing on the front nine, she rebounded from a bogey on the par-3 eighth with a birdie on No. 9.
”To bogey 8 was really unfortunate, and I knew I needed something special on No. 9,” Henderson said. ”So, I’m really happy I was able to hit the green in two and take a little bit of pressure off myself, kind of ease the nerves a little bit. It was just a two-putt to finish.”
Chun had five birdies and a bogey to reach 8 under.
”I really enjoy the course,” Chun said. ”The conditions are really good here.”
Both of her LPGA victories have come in majors – the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2016 Evian Championship. She has four runner-up finishes this season, including a playoff loss to Ariya Jutanugarn in June in the Manulife Classic in Cambridge, Ontario.
”I made a lot of seconds this year, but I think it was a good memory for me and good experience,” Chun said. ”I think I’m ready to win.”
Martin birdied four of the last four holes for a 67.
”Super-solid finish,” Martin said. ”It’s nice that things are coming together. I think I’ve been playing better than I’ve been scoring this summer, so nice to see those things connect.”
Lincicome birdied the par-5 18th for her second straight 68.
”The course is great,” said Lincicome, coming off the United States’ Solheim Cup victory in Iowa. ”The greens weren’t as soft as yesterday afternoon, so we tried to take advantage of that as much as possible. But the course is in great condition. It’s so green, the fairways are so perfect. The greens are perfect. Everything is awesome.”
Alex, the first-round leader, had a 70.
”Definitely was a little tougher ball-striking today,” Alex said. ”Just didn’t feel like I got into a good flow, but I managed the round really well.”
Top-ranked So Yeon Ryu, the 2014 winner at London Hunt, had a 68 to get to 5 under along with Cristie Kerr (67), Stacy Lewis (68), Nicole Broch Larsen (68), Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong (69) and Holly Clyburn (70). Michelle Wie was 3 under after a 68.
Three-time champion Lydia Ko and defending champion Jutanugarn missed the cut. Ko had rounds of 70 and 75, dropping three strokes in two late holes with a double bogey and a bogey. Jutanugarn shot 76-78, making eight bogeys and only one birdie Friday.