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Strong start for Henderson at Australian Open


A BOGEY free round of 4-under has Canadian teenager Brooke Henderson well placed after the first round of the ISPS Handa Australian Open in Adelaide.

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Henderson, the World No. 8, is the best placed of four Canadians in the LPGA event after one round at Royal Adelaide Golf Club in sunny South Australia.

Alena Sharp and Maude-Aimee Leblanc both finished on 2-under while Jennifer Ha is 10 shots from the leader at 2-over.

Paired with World No.1 Lydia Ko, who fired a 2-under 71, Henderson set about making the most of the calm early morning conditions.

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“It was a pretty good day today, I had a great group, which was really nice,” the 19-year-old said.

“I felt like my goal was to get off to a faster start and 4-under is a good way to do that this week.

“The wind was down my first 9 or 10 holes, so I was trying to take advantage.”

Henderson said she was pleasantly surprised by the support from the Aussie crowd for her and Kiwi playing partner Ko.

“There’s a lot for Lydia, but I did feel a good amount of support out there, which is really nice and the crowds were awesome,” she said.

“I hardly ever see that many people on the Thursday round, especially when we tee off at 7.30 or 7.40 in the morning, so that was awesome and I hope to see them the rest of the week.”

Leblanc and Sharp both faced the challenging afternoon conditions with Sharp reaching 5-under at one point before dropping three shots late in her round.

Aussie Katherine Kirk leads the tournament after carding a flawless 8-under 65.

Four players are tied in second on 6-under including Americans Jane Park and Marissa Steen.

Kirk birdied four of the first five holes on her way to a bogey-free 65 in calm conditions around the links-style Par 73 Royal Adelaide Course.

“The goal will be to keep going tomorrow and hopefully put a good weekend together,” she said.

The news wasn’t so good for crowd favorite and five-time Australian Open champion Karrie Webb, who shot a 3-over 76.

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