Marina Alex leads at Ottawa Hunt; Canadian star Brooke Henderson struggles

Golf


OTTAWA, Ontario — Marina Alex shot a 5-under 66 on Thursday to take the lead in the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, while Canadian star Brooke Henderson was in danger of missing the cut after a 74.

Alex had four birdies on her opening nine — the back nine at Ottawa Hunt — and added two birdies and a bogey on her second nine. The American is winless on the PGA Tour.

“I got off to a great start,” Alex said. “Then the conditions started to pick up a little bit. The wind picked up. It started to get tough definitely the second nine, so I kind of just held in there the best I could.”

She had 28 putts.

“Putted unbelievably well today,” Alex said. “I rolled it so good. I hope I can just carry that into the next couple days and just tidy up the ball-striking a little bit.”

Henderson, from nearby Smiths Falls, struggled on the greens. She had 32 putts.

“I hit the ball for the majority extremely well and just the putter kind of let me down at times,” Henderson said. “But, you know, the crowds were amazing. There was a lot of great things happening out there, and like I said, my ball-striking was awesome. It was like right on, and just hopefully tomorrow I can make a couple more of those 10-footers, 15-footers, and then we’ll see what happens.”

The 19-year-old Canadian has four LPGA Tour victories, winning the major KPMG Women’s PGA last year and the Meijer LPGA Classic in June.

South Korea’s In Gee Chun and England’s Holly Clyburn were a stroke back at 67.

“You can hit shots in there pretty tight,” Chun said.

Angel Yin and Brittany Lincicome, coming off the United States’ Solheim Cup victory Sunday in Iowa, were at 68 along with Shanshan Feng, Sei Young Kim, Pavarisa Yoktuan and Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong.

“I love the course. It’s pretty straightforward,” Yin said. “I think my speed is pretty good today because of last week. The greens were running about like last week, so that helps a lot.”

Top-ranked So Yeon Ryu, the 2014 winner at London Hunt, had a 69.

Three-time champion Lydia Ko shot 70. She won in 2012 and 2013 as an amateur and also took the 2015 event at Vancouver Golf Club.

Ariya Jutanugarn, the winner last year at Priddis Greens in Alberta, struggled to a 76.

Inbee Park withdrew before the round because of back pain.



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