Brooke Henderson drained birdies on three of her final four holes to fire a 67 for a one-shot lead after the second round of the LPGA’s Portland Classic on Friday.
Canada’s Henderson, who finished in the top five in two major championships this season, rolled in an eight-foot birdie putt on her last hole of the round to pull one shot ahead of Germany’s Caroline Masson.
“I had to stay patient,” Henderson said of her five-under 67 at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club course. “I knew I was hitting great shots. About the fourth hole on my back nine I said: ‘Let’s go make some birdies,’ and I was able to do that.
“It is a great position to be in, but it is a long way from being over and I still have a lot of work to do,” she said.
The 17-year-old rising star on the LPGA Tour only made it into the field via a qualifier on Monday.
Henderson was at 11-under 133 after two rounds. Masson climbed the leaderboard with an eight-under 64 to complete the first two rounds at 10-under.
Henderson, who started on the back nine, made her only bogey on her second hole of the day at No. 11, but rebounded with birdies at Nos. 12 and 14 and again at No. 3 before her dazzling finish.
She holds the outright second-round lead for the third time in the nine LPGA Tour events she has played this year. She cracked the top five at both the KPMG Women’s PGA and the US Women’s Open.
Kaohsiung native Candie Kung, Jenny Shin of South Korea and Julieta Granada of Paraguay were tied for third at nine-under. Kung shot a 66, Shin a 68 and Granada a 69.
First-round leaders Amy Anderson and Sandra Changkija finished with par 72s and were in a tie for ninth.
Other Taiwanese in the field were Min Lee and Yani Tseng, who were tied for 22nd on 139 overall, and Hsu Wei-ling (57th, 143). US-born newcomer Doris Chen was also on 143 overall after turning pro last month.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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