Henderson soars in San Francisco

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World No 1 Lydia Ko surrendered her lead at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic as rookie Brooke Henderson took over at the top.

The highly rated 17-year-old rookie from Canada shot the low round of the day at Lake Merced Golf Club, a seven-under-par 65, to take a two-shot lead after the second round.

She leads on nine under par heading into the weekend in only her second LPGA event as a professional, having made the switch in December of last year after reaching the World No 1 ranking as an amateur.

Starting from the 10th, Henderson added three birdies and eagle in her first nine holes, and then added three more birdies after the turn, with her only blemish of the day coming at the par-four fifth.

“It was a lot of fun out there,” Henderson said. “I hit a lot of good shots and I got very lucky. I got some good bounces out there, which is always nice, and was able to make a few putts.

Henderson got the opportunity to play a few LPGA events as an amateur as well, and says it helped prepare her for the professional ranks.

“Playing as an amateur (on the LPGA Tour) definitely helps,” she added. “I think this is probably my 10th or so event. I’m getting to know what the atmosphere is like a little bit more and getting to know the players a little bit better, too, helps — Being able to have a conversation with them instead of just admiring them from afar.”

South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi lies two back on seven under after a 68, while Japan’s Sakura Yokomine and China’s Yueer Cindy Feng are tied for third on six under.

World No 1 Lydia Ko follows on five under, four back, alongside three others. The Kiwi star could only follow up her opening 67 with a level-par 72, as she fell off the blistering pace set by her 17-year-old rival.

Ko celebrated her 18th birthday on Friday.

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