Brooke Henderson bogeyed the final two holes but still enjoyed a two-shot lead after the second round at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Friday.
The Canadian 19-year-old carded 67 for a 12-under-par 130 halfway total at Blythefield Country Club, with American Lexi Thompson (68), Spaniard Carlota Ciganda (64) and South Korean Hur Mi-jung (66) equal second on 10-under.
Lydia Ko, who recently lost her world number one crown, is six shots back. Her successor, Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, is eight off the pace. Henderson made four straight birdies from the ninth hole and looked like having a handy halfway lead until dropping shots at her final two holes.
A three-times winner on the LPGA Tour, Henderson has recorded just one top-five finish this season. “It’s been a little bit of a rough season so far, not getting the results that I’ve been looking for but this week seems to be a turnaround week and hopefully I can just finish strong the next two days,” Henderson told reporters.
“Two bogeys to finish, but that just gives me a little more motivation going into tomorrow.” Ciganda, meanwhile, surged into contention with an eagle and five birdies on the same course where she lost a playoff to Kim Sei-young last year.
“Obviously I saw (Henderson) playing good, and when she’s on, it’s hard to beat her but I’m excited to keep fighting,” said Ciganda, a two-time LPGA winner.