LPGA Stars Brooke Henderson, Nelly Korda Bring Early Momentum At Lake Nona

Brooke Henderson began the opening day of the LPGA Tour’s 2023 season with a bang, a lot of optimism, and a lead by one stroke.

Henderson, who began Thursday at No. 7 in the Rolex World Rankings, kicked off the first day of the Hilton Grand VacationsHGV +3.9% Tournament of Champions with a 5-under lead on the first day of competition. Henderson logged six birdies to shoot a 67 to take a 1-shot lead.

After her first round at Lake Nona in Orlando ended in the mid-afternoon, Henderson spoke to media about her swing feeling much more loose and free.

“It does feel really good to get off to a hot start—that’s always a great feeling,” said Henderson, who hails from Ontario, Canada.

The 25-year-old, who won two events last season, including her second career major, the Evian Championship, also spoke about her early momentum at Lake Nona.

“Hopefully, I can continue it the next three days, a lot of momentum, and lots of birdies,” Henderson said. “You really need to go low here if the conditions are going to stay as nice as they are.”

All pros competing in the HGV Tournament of Champions play in grouping with at least one or two celebrity participants. Henderson has been paired throughout the tourney with Hall of Fame pitcher and Atlanta Braves legend John Smoltz, as well as longtime Major League Baseball star Josh Donaldson, who currently plays with the New York Yankees.

Henderson said that the variety of personalities on the course at the HGV Tournament of Champions makes for an exciting event.

“Playing with the celebrities is so much fun and the atmosphere is just always amazing with the fans, too,” Henderson said. I always look forward to the event, and to be here is just awesome.

Henderson also hints that the festive mood at this first event of the LPGA Tour season is one that comes with less tension too. It’s one that is letting her rebound from a 2022 season in which she did post wins but was held back by some injuries.

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