Author of the article:

Jon McCarthy

Publishing date:

Sep 11, 2020  •   •  2 minute read

Brooke Henderson of Canada plays a tee shot on the 13th hole during the first round of the ANA Inspiration at the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills Country Club on Thursday. Photo by Jeff Gross /Getty Images

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Brooke Henderson celebrated her 23rd birthday by shooting an opening round four-under par 68 at the season’s second major championship.

“Definitely a solid start, a nice way to spend your birthday and hopefully I can just keep making some birdies,” Henderson said after her round.

The Canadian star walked off Mission Hills Country Club’s Dinah Shore Course with share of the clubhouse lead at the ANA Inspiration before Nelly Korda shot a six-under 66 in the afternoon in stifling heat of Rancho Mirage, California. With temperatures approaching 40 Celsius and wildfires nearby, Henderson took advantage of the milder morning conditions.

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“It was kind of nice in the morning, things were a little bit softer, it was a little bit cooler,” she said. “It felt like it was definitely scoring conditions.”

Beginning her round on the 10th tee, Henderson’s birthday got off to a quiet start with just a single birdie on her opening nine, but like all good parties it just needed a little time to get rolling. After making the turn at one under she bogeyed the first hole — her only misstep of the day — but then flipped the switch with birdies on four of her final eight holes to jump to the top of the leaderboard after the morning wave of golf. Henderson will begin the second round tied for fourth, two shots behind Korda and one stroke behind Madelene Sagstrom and In Gee Chun who shot five-under 67s.

“You kind of have to know where your misses are and kind of some holes it is just stay patient and try to make par,” Henderson said. “Otherwise it’s attack and try to make some birdies because there’s going to be bogeys out here, that’s just the way major championship golf is, but hopefully you’re making a lot of birdies to counter them.”

Taking a cautious approach to the return to golf Henderson has only played two tournaments since January. Between the long layoff and the sizzling temperatures it’s not going to be an easy week for the Canadian to hunt for her second career ma

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