Brooke Henderson's ace puts her 8th at Women's British Open, Pornanong in lead
The Smiths Falls, Ont. native aces the par-3 9th hole
Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., aced the par-3 ninth hole on her way to a 70 Friday at the Women's British Open in Lytham St. Annes, England, putting her in a six-way tie for eighth place at 5-under.
It's Henderson's second ace on the LPGA tour since joining the tour in 2015. She previously scored a hole-in-one on the 13th hole of the Women's PGA Championship in 2016.
Brittany Marchand (73) of Orangeville, Ont., is projected to miss the cut line.
Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand, meanwhile, is standing out for more than just her pink golf ball.
The 97th-ranked player has yet to drop a shot in two straight rounds of 5-under 67, giving her a one-shot lead over Georgia Hall, Minjee Lee and Mamiko Higa.
While first-round leader Minjee Lee and Mamiko Higa encountered problems down the stretch at a rainy Royal Lytham to give up two-shot leads on Friday, Pornanong played a steady hand and put her pink ball in all the right places — explicitly, out of the many bunkers that define the course.
The 28-year-old Thai missed a 10-foot putt for birdie in front of the clubhouse on the 18th green but that didn't get her down. She was 10 under par overall.
"I've had a game plan," Pornanong said. "I try to plan every shot, every hole."
It's given her a great chance of winning a first major title, and claiming a first victory on the LPGA Tour. Her last win was on the Asian Tour in January 2015 and she has only one top-10 finish all year.
Pornanong's only top-10 at a major was a tie for seventh at the U.S. Women's Open in 2014.
She has already put some distance between many of the big names in women's golf.
Top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn was seven shots back after rounds of 71 and 70, No. 6 Shanshan Feng (71-71) was one stroke further back, and No. 2 Inbee Park (76-74) missed the cut.
Only six players were inside five shots of Pornanong. They have pedigree, though.
In a three-way share of second place on 9 under is Lee, who was clear at 12 under before she double-bogeyed No. 16 and dropped another shot at No. 17 to post a 70.
Lee, the Australian at a career-high ranking of No. 8, was runner-up on the Gullane links in the Ladies Scottish Open last week.
Third-ranked Park Sung-hyun, who won the Women's PGA Championship last month, is lurking in sixth place on 7 under after rounds of 67 and 70. Seventh-ranked Ryu So-yeon, a two-time major champion, is on 6 under after two rounds of 69.