Canada’s Brooke Henderson and South Korean Eun-Hee Ji share a one-shot lead at the LPGA’s season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.
Still only 21, World No 9 Henderson is already a seven-time LPGA Tour winner, and she’s wasted little time in getting back to her best in 2019.
The Ontario native mixed seven birdies and a lone bogey in her six-under-par 65 to share the first-round lead with former US Women’s Open champion Ji, who made six birdies in a bogey-free round.
The season-opening Tournament of Champions is only for LPGA winners each of the last two years. Along with the professional competition, celebrities and athletes also compete for a $500,000 prize fund using the modified Stableford scoring system, giving the tournament the relaxed feel of a pro-am.
Tennis player Mardy Fish led that field with 39 points for a two-point lead over a group that included retired baseball pitcher Mark Mulder.
"I was hitting it well today and making putts, so that's all you can really ask for."@BrookeHenderson caught up with @TheAmyRogers after earning a share of the lead in the @diamondresorts Tournament of Champions following her first round 65 (-6).#DiamondLPGA pic.twitter.com/grwbtMHJXf
— LPGA (@LPGA) 17 January 2019
“I had to remind myself it wasn’t Wednesday afternoon, it was Thursday, and I had to get a good score together,” said Henderson, who was in a group with former NBA star Ray Allen. “I think that’s when things kicked in on the front nine. I started getting a couple of birdies to recover from that bogey, and then from there I was ready to go and made a lot of birdies.”
Henderson and Ji lie one shot clear of two former World No 1s – Lydia Ko of New Zealand and American Stacy Lewis.
Lewis is playing her first tournament since becoming a mother three months ago.
“Pleasantly surprised,” Lewis said. “Had pretty low expectations going into the day. Just really made a lot of putts. I had some weird shots, which I knew was going to happen having not played in a while. I don’t know where it came from, but I’m going to take it.”
Current World No 1 Ariya Jutanugarn opened with a 67 to lie just two shots back alongside Lexi Thompson and Mirim Lee.
Phil Mickelson owns one of the most celebrated CVs in world golf and the left-hander gave it another record-breaking update.
Reigning Race To Dubai champion Francesco Molinari is eager to repeat his feat in 2019.
Thomas Bjorn and Adam Scott have both expressed their dismay at the lack of action from golf’s governing bodies on the scourge of slow play.
Several golfers taking part in last week’s World Super 6 event on the European Tour found themselves the victim of a bizarre putter theft.
Effective immediately, PGA Tour professionals will now be able to wear shorts for all practice and pro-am rounds.
Organisers have announced the groups for this week’s WGC-Mexico Championship, and there are some star-studded match-ups to look forward to.
While JB Holmes admits he’s not the fastest player, he feels like there were others factors involved in the slow pace of his play on Sunday.
Rory McIlroy has finally confirmed that he will not be teeing it up as a European Tour member at this week’s WGC–Mexico Championship.