Brooke Henderson has no photo on the LPGA Tour’s website and has had to rely on sponsor exemptions to get into tournaments after failing to earn a card in qualifying school.
The 17-year-old Canadian fiddles with her earrings between shots, purses her lips and anxiously watches each shot, then politely responds and makes eye contact when someone in the gallery engages her with a compliment.
For one day at least, Henderson is the new player with a serious swagger in women’s golf.
She shot a tournament-record seven-under 65 to take the lead halfway through the second round of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in California on Friday.
“That’s pretty cool,” Henderson said about her low score.
That round put her at nine under at Lake Merced Golf Club, where world No.1 and defending champion Lydia Ko shot an even-par 72 to remain five under after taking the first-round lead Thursday.
There were still afternoon rounds to play on Friday (Saturday AEST), including by local favourite Juli Inkster after her opening four-under 68.
Na Yeon Choi was two strokes back at after a 68.