Brooke Henderson takes clubhouse lead at CP Women's Open

Brooke Henderson takes clubhouse lead at CP Women's Open

Canada's Brooke Henderson got off to a strong start in her title defence at the CP Women's Open.

Henderson shot 6-under 66 in the opening round to take the clubhouse lead of the LPGA Tour event at Magna Golf Club in Aurora, Ont., on Thursday.

Henderson, who had an early morning tee-off time, birdied No. 18 to take the clubhouse lead at the conclusion of her round.

The 21-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ont., became the first Canadian since 1973 to win the national women's open last year when she captured the title in Regina.

Henderson has won nine career LPGA Tour events, a record for Canadians on the PGA or LPGA tours. She is sixth on the LPGA money list this year.

Fifteen Canadians and 96 of the top 100 money winners on the LPGA Tour this year are in the field this week at the $2.25-million US tournament.

WATCH | Brooke Henderson breaks down her game:

Professional golfer and defending CP Women's Open Champion Brooke Henderson walks us through the thought process and strategies of a par 4 golf hole. 2:34

In the lead up to this event, Henderson recalled being rather star-struck when she made her first appearance.

It's a feeling that fellow Canadian Michelle Liu is experiencing herself this week.

Liu will be 12 years nine months and six days old when first-round play began Thursday, making her the youngest golfer to play in the 47-year history of Canada's national women's championship. Henderson, from Smiths Falls, Ont., previously held the record for youngest player at this tournament.

Henderson played in the 2012 tournament in Coquitlam, B.C., at age 14, about two years older than Liu is now. She recalled her friendship with fellow Canadian Alena Sharp taking root at that event and also being stunned that four-time LPGA Tour winner Lorie Kane knew who she was.