Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont., has put herself in position to continue building her confidence heading into the final few weeks of the Symetra Tour’s 2017 season.
Marchand had five birdies against just one bogey in Friday’s second round of the CP Women’s Open at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club to finish the day with a four-under 67.
At the midway point of the tournament, Marchand is tied for 23rd, six behind leader In Gee Chun of South Korea, who also fired a 67 Friday to establish a two-shot lead. over Americans Mo Martin, Brittany Lincicome and Marina Alex.
The 67 is in direct contrast to the 73 Marchand opened with on Thursday.
“I felt like I had some swing problems out there and I was overthinking things and that’s why I wasn’t hitting the ball so well. Today, I just decided to not think about anything and it worked,” said Marchand.
“I’ve been playing well up until now and I just wanted to do what I’ve been doing, which has been working obviously, so I decided when I was playing my best, I had almost no thoughts, so that really helped today,” she said.
Marchand’s performance on the LPGA Tour shouldn’t come as a surprise since she was tied for ninth going into the final round of the Manulife LPGA Classic in Cambridge, Ont., earlier this year. She finished with an 81, however, and tied for 46th, but despite that disappointing finish, she had illustrated she could hang with the best.
That message resounded when Marchand earned her first Symetra Tour victory earlier this month, when she won by three shots at the PHC Classic in Milwaukee. She followed up 10 days later with a playoff victory at the Data PGA Women’s Championship of Canada in Toronto.
As a result of the win in Milwaukee, Marchand will play in next month’s Evian Championship, the fifth and final major this season in France, then try to get into the top 10 on the Symetra Tour, which would earn her graduation to the LPGA Tour. Right now, she’s 17th with six events left. She also has the option of Q-school if that doesn’t happen.
Marchand and the rest of the Canadians were all below the projected cutline after Thursday’s first round and two of the 14 who started the tournament will play the weekend.
“I was trying not to think about the cut, but then, once I made a few birdies. I basically said to myself, go out and make pars and if the birdies fall, the birdies fall. A few of them started falling and then I felt like I was going to make the cut,” she said.
The other Canadian to make the cut was Brooke Henderson, who was even par on the day through 16 holes, before putting up birdies on each of her two final holes to close the day with a score of 69.
After her first round 74, Henderson reached the midway point at one over, right on the number for weekend play, a relief for a 19-year-old from nearby Smiths Falls with a huge partisan crowd behind her.
“I feel like I’ve handled it pretty well so far. I think now that the cut is kind of over with, I can focus on my game and try to shoot maybe four or five under these next two and see if I can be in the top 10 or just climb that leaderboard a little bit more,” said Henderson.
“Everybody’s out here looking to support me, to cheer me on. I know they’re all on my side. I want to perform to the best of my abilities. I was a little disappointed yesterday after the way I played. Early in the round today, I was as well, but I was able to turn it around. I knew they were right behind me the whole way,” she added.
“It’s so amazing. I look around and the whole green is covered, the fairways are covered, not just covered, they’re like eight people deep, which is truly amazing. I just hope (the gallery) continue to grow over the next two days,” said Henderson, who hopes to pay them back with an entertaining weekend show.
“Miracles do happen. I think that is probably a little bit outside of my range, but I can still climb the leaderboard. I can still try to get my best finish ever at the Canadian Open, which was last year – that’s probably my main goal going into (Saturday),” said Henderson.
The leaderboard is here.