If you were going strictly by record, Maudie-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., wouldn’t have been your top pick to lead Canadians into the weekend at the U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif.
The one you would have expected, Brooke Henderson, the No. 2-ranked woman in the world, instead spent a few anxious hours watching the leaderboard at CordeValle after posting a one-under 71 in Friday’s second round that left her on the bubble for making the cut.
Leblanc, who has only completed six of her 14 LPGA Tour events this season, either due to missed cuts or WDs, but is third in average tour driving distance stats at 275.42 yards, begins Saturday’s third round in a tie for 10th after she followed up an even par, first round 72 with a 69 on Friday.
Leblanc finished the day with six birdies and three bogeys and will go into the weekend five shots off the lead held by Sung Hyun Park.
Hamilton’s Alena Sharp is just a shot behind Leblanc in a tie for 15th after she followed up a first round 70 with an even par 72 on Friday to leave her at two under.
After posting a first round 76, Henderson appeared to be regaining the form that won her last week’s Cambia Portland Classic and the last major championship at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, as she made the turn on Friday at three under.
However, bogeys on the 12th and 16th holes left her at one under on the day and three under for the first two rounds with the cut at two over when she finished. It would eventually move to four over, sending Henderson and Sue Kim of Langley, B.C., into Saturday’s third round.
Kim also shot a 71 on Friday.
Missing the cut were Taylor Kim of Surrey, B.C., and amateur Naomi Ko of Victoria.
The leaderboard is here.