“Not feeling the fittest right now,” reported the Aberdonian, who’d come through a play-off at Blairgowrie on Monday to secure his spot in the $2.75 million event in Perthshire.
“I’ve got a dodgy back, not happy with my golf swing. Not hitting my best but just pushing it round. Trying to play conservative.”
In fairness, Henderson sounded like most players in the over-50s ranks at the end of a round and he eventually admitted that it had been a productive day’s work on the King’s Course.
“I’d probably take that,” said the 1997 European Tour Rookie of the Year of a round that contained three birdies, including a 40-footer at the 13th.
“I actually had a good few chances. The last three holes in a row I was inside ten feet all three times.”
Henderson, who also qualified for last year’s event at Sunningdale, probably has most recent experience of playing the King’s Course than anyone in the field from it hosting the Scottish PGA Championship on a number of occasions.
“It’s not easy,” he said of the course being firm and first for this assignment. “I always remember this place being kind of gentle on you. But you’ve got to have your wits about you.
“The greens are so quick. I had one uphill putt today and that was on the short 16th. First time I left it under the hole!
“Everything else you’re just touching it, left to right down the hill. They’re tricky. Get round without a three-putt you’re doing well.”
Colin Montgomerie recovered from being three-over early on to salvage a 70, which was matched by Andrew Oldcorn.
Also out in the morning wave, Sandy Lyle started birdie-birdie but then had to settle for a 72 while a sore 7 to finish left Euan McIntosh signing for a 75.