Here is where we stand through 36 holes. Four Canadians started the week, three will continue it.
T-1st — Brooke Henderson (-9)
T-16th — Brittany Marchand (-4)
T-54th — Alena Sharp (E)
MC — Maude-Aimee Leblanc
Brooke Henderson went out and nabbed herself a share of the lead this afternoon, shooting a five-under 66 to get to 9-under and join Caroline Hedwall, of Sweden, in the final group tomorrow. She wasn’t the only Canadian to give herself a shot this weekend, though.
Brooke highlights below: (sorry for the vertical filming. I won’t make that mistake again).
Brittany Marchand is five back of Brooke, shooting 68 in her second round to vault into a tie for 16th, after an opening round 70.
Hamilton’s Alena Sharp got the job done as well, but it took every last stroke. Alena needed a birdie on the 18th to make it to the weekend, and that’s exactly what she did.
The fourth Canadian in the field, Maude-Aimee Leblanc, was poised to make it a clean sweep of Canadians heading into the weekend, but an illness that nagged her all day reared its ugly head at the worst possible time, resulting in a bogey on the gettable Par-5 18th, her finishing hole, to miss the cut by one stroke.
I spoke with Brit and Brooke after their rounds. Here’s what Brittany had to say:
Q: You’re 4-under, which is, at the moment, in a tie for sixteenth. I can imagine though, from watching those last few holes, that you may feel you left a few out there?
A: I felt like the majority of today was great, and then some mistakes I wish I didn’t have. Especially down the stretch. The par-5 was kind of silly, and then the last putt, I completely pulled. But otherwise, I felt like I was hitting the ball much better today, and I was putting well. So if I could eliminate a few of those mistakes over the weekend, then I think I’ll be in good shape.
Q: I know I, along with many Canadians, were pulling for you last week. Do you feel ready to break through?
A: Yeah. I think last week was a really good step in the right direction. I’ve been trying to work on how I play on the weekend, and finishing strong. I think I did that. Obviously I wanted to win or place better, but I think getting a top-ten has definitely been great. It moved me into the top 100, and keeping full status has been my goal this whole year, so, I’m glad I moved up.
Q: It’s obviously very hot out here today. With the course drying up, did it play tougher as the day went on?
A: Yeah, it’s definitely drying up, so a lot of shots are running out. Both on fairways, and greens, especially if you’re hitting anything longer than an 8-iron. A few times we definitely misjudged it, because we just played it thinking it would be kind of similar and it just didn’t. Like, for example, on 18, my 9th hole of the day, I thought I was making the smart play to hit an iron and get it in front of the green, and it just bounced, like, 30 yards. It got a huge kick. So, a few things like that, I feel like were definitely, with the heat and how dry it is, it definitely made a difference.
Q: As it stands now, you’re only five strokes back of the lead. Do you start to think about a number you have to post tomorrow or Sunday? Or do you just sort of go with the flow?
A: I definitely just try to stick to my game plan, stick to my routines. Just post a good number, and hopefully it’s good enough. The more you try to think you have to get to something, then the more you end up not really reaching the goal. So I think I’m just going to go out there and have fun. It’s been a long stretch for me, this is my sixth week in a row, so I’m just sort of running on fumes. A couple more rounds, and then I’m excited for some time off.
Q: Just the one week off?
A: Yeah. I’ll be home in Toronto, and then luckily my performance last week got me into the Scottish Open. So I’ll do that. And this is the qualifier for the British Open, so hopefully I can play well enough this weekend to get into that. That would be great.
And here is Brooke’s interview. Full disclosure, credit to the LPGA for this one. I’ve spoken to Brooke, like, five times in the last two days, and didn’t have too many enlightening questions. So, shoutout LPGA. Thanks for the viz!
More tomorrow. Check out my Instagram and Twitter for live updates and videos from the course @RJMcCullough