Date: February 04, 2019
Author: Martin Blake

Henderson out, women’s field remains strong


World No. 9 Brooke Henderson has fallen ill and pulled out of the ISPS Handa Vic Open at 13th Beach this week, having abandoned her trip partway to Australia and returned to Florida.

Henderson, a regular visitor to Australia, was on her flight Down Under when she was forced to turn around because of an unspecified illness. She was to make her debut in the Vic Open.

The Canadian’s status for the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at The Grange in Adelaide next week is not clear, although her management said that she would remain in the field and hoped to recover in time to play.

Henderson, 21, has won seven times on the LPGA Tour including a major, the 2016 Women’s PGA Championship.

She has played all three years that the Women’s Australian Open has been contested in Adelaide.

The Vic Open women’s field remains extremely strong, bolstered by the first year of an LPGA co-sanction, headed by world No. 6, Australia’s Minjee Lee, who has already won the tournament twice and who defends the title this week.

World No. 8 Georgia Hall from England, also a past winner at 13th Beach, is also in the field along with all the top Australians from the LPGA, Victorian Su Oh, Western Australia’s Hannah Green and Queensland’s Katherine Hull.

Veteran Karrie Webb also is playing for just the second time at 13th Beach, although Webb has been heartbroken by the news from Townsville, where she has her Australian home. Flooding has caused devastation in the north Queensland city and even threatens Ayr, Webb’s childhood hometown.

Webb tweeted today: “I’m so saddened by this footage of my home city of Townsville. Rain continues 2 fall & flooding worsens. Worried now 4 town I grew up, Ayr with the Burdekin River also rising rapidly. Not long ago we were all praying 4 rain now it’s 4 it to stop Everyone b safe.”