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Henderson goes on tear to take 1-shot lead on LPGA Tour

BELLEAIR (AP) – Brooke Henderson was bothered by seeing so many low scores before she even teed off on Thursday on the LPGA Tour.

She just went out and putted for birdie on every hole, opening with an 8-under 62 for a one-shot lead in The Annika.

Henderson made a long birdie putt on her final hole, the par-3 ninth, for a 29 on the front nine to move past a group that included Jin Young Ko and Patty Tavatanakit.

“Up until this year, ball-striking has definitely been a strength of mine, and hasn’t been as sharp as I would like the last couple months,” said Henderson, who switched irons recently and felt she was headed in the right direction. “To hit all 18 greens is more what I used to be used to a little while ago,” the Canadian said. “It feels amazing not to have to get up and down and give myself a lot of birdie opportunities.”

Henderson won the season opener in Florida and hasn’t won since, falling to number 13 in the women’s world ranking and coming in at number 14 in the Race to CME Globe.

This is the last tournament for the top 60 players to reach the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship down the coast in Naples. That’s not an issue for Henderson or Ko, who is number five on the strength of two LPGA victories.

Brooke Henderson during the LPGA golf tournament in Florida, United States. PHOTO: AP