Brooke Henderson in fine form for her return to the CP Women’s Open
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - JULY 24: Brooke M. Henderson of Canada poses trophy after winning the The Amundi Evian Championship during day four of The Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club on July 24, 2022 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
When Smith Falls, Ont., native Brooke Henderson returns to Ottawa for the CP Women’s Open later this summer, she will undoubtedly be greeted with a rock star reception from the hometown crowd.
Having recently won her second career major at the Amundi Evian Championship, Henderson is now the only Canadian golfer to have captured multiple majors – Mike Weir and Sandra Post both have one each to their names.
While the former Canadian National Team Member led throughout the first three rounds at the Amundi Evian Championship, she did run into a bit of turbulence in the fourth round and had to dig deep to secure her second major.
Despite not playing her best golf in the final round, Henderson stayed composed and was clutch when she needed to be.
“Not the start that I wanted, but I stayed pretty patient, as patient as I could under those circumstances,” she said right after winning at the Evian Resort Golf Club in France.
“The saying is that majors are won on the back nine on Sunday, so I just tried to keep that frame of mind, and knew I was still in it if I could have a solid back (nine).”
Heading into the 18th hole, Henderson was tied at 16 under with American Sophia Schubert but she would drain an eight-foot birdie putt on the final hole to secure the victory.
“I made some clutch putts and shots down the stretch, which really helped. I’m just super excited to have my second major championship win; 12 wins on tour is pretty cool, too,” noted the Canadian LPGA superstar. “Really excited for what the rest of the season holds.”
Two other big tournaments on Henderson’s radar include the Women’s British Open in early August and the CP Women’s Open at the Ottawa Hunt Club from Aug. 22-28.
The 24-year-old was home last month for media day and to promote the return of the CP Women’s Open to the nation’s capital. The LPGA superstar spoke about her fond memories from the last time the tournament was held in Ottawa.
“In 2017, when I showed up on Thursday morning, my tee time, I think, was 8 o’clock and I was thinking there’s going to be a couple of people watching. But when I showed up to the first tee there was lines of people on both sides – it was just a phenomenal experience,” said Henderson, who is an honorary member at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.
Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum recalls the excitement around the 2017 CP Women’s Open.
“Many will know this story, but Brooke had to make a birdie on her 18th hole in order to make the cut. And what does Brooke do? She makes birdie,” Applebaum recalled.
“She goes out the next day and shoots 63 – a course record. It was a spectacular 24 hours and it was amongst one of most amazing things I’ve ever seen. We have been continually amazed by this athlete over last few years.”
A year later, at the 2018 CP Women’s Open in Regina, Henderson became the first Canadian in 45 years to win Canada’s national open.
The tournament was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but will make its long-awaited return to Canada this year at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.
Tournament Director Ryan Paul speaks about the excitement building around the return of the LPGA’s best this year.
“Golf fans in this community have gotten behind our National Women’s Open Championship in a major way,” he said. “We can’t wait to get back to Ottawa Hunt and put on a can’t miss summer celebration.”
Henderson will be joined by fellow Canadians Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Maddie Szeryk, Alena Sharp, Jaclyn Lee, Rebecca Lee-Bentham, Selena Costabile, Monet Chun, and Lorie Kane—who earlier announced this year will be her last. A number of other Canadians are expected to receive exemptions into the star-studded 156-player field in the coming weeks.
One of the new additions for 2022 is the rink which will be situated on the par-3 17th hole. Having also played hockey as a goaltender growing up, Henderson is eager to test out the hockey themed hole later this summer.
“I was super excited when Golf Canada mentioned that they were going to bring The Rink over to the LPGA Tour. I think the fans are going to be so wild and fired up. It will be super exciting and I’m really excited to seeing what it looks like,” she said during media day in June.
Now with 12 LPGA victories and two majors to her name, the 24-year-old Canadian is arguably – at present – the most successful Canadian athlete across all the major sports.
And she is eager to continue that success on home soil later this summer.
“My sixth major on the LPGA Tour is always this one. This is a huge week for me, for us, and I always want to play my best,” said Henderson about the CP Women’s Open.
Given all the success, there’s definitely and buzz and excitement surrounding her homecoming at the end of August. And the 24-year-old from Smiths Falls is eager to bring her ‘A’ game for the pumped up and energetic Canadian golf fans later this summer.
Brooke Henderson takes 2 shot lead into final round of Evian
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - JULY 23: Brooke Henderson of Canada waves her golf ball on the ninth hole during day three of The Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club on July 23, 2022 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) – Brooke Henderson stood over a birdie putt from three feet at the 18th green, a three-shot lead going into the final round of the Evian Championship seemingly at her mercy.
For the first time on Saturday – maybe all week, given her dominance of the fourth women’s major of the year – her putting stroke let her down.
Henderson missed it left, to gasps from spectators around the green at Evian Resort Golf Club. The Canadian couldn’t believe it. Probably those hoping to chase her down on Sunday, too.
Seeking her second major title after the Women’s PGA Championship in 2016, Henderson had to settle for a 3-under 68 in the third round and a two-shot lead on 17-under par – two off the 54-hole record for the tournament.
She is still in a position of strength after opening with two straight 64s, but that missed putt at No. 18 might prove costly.
The closest challengers to Henderson are a former No. 1 and a player breaking new personal ground at a major.
So Yeon Ryu, a two-time major winner from South Korea, shot 65 after three birdies on her last four holes and was alone in second place. The top-ranked player in 2017, when she won the ANA Inspiration for her second major, she hasn’t been in contention this deep into one of women’s golf’s biggest five tournaments for three years.
Two strokes further back on 13 under was Sophia Schubert, ranked No. 283 and without a top-50 finish in a major. The American birdied her last four holes for a 66 and was in new territory alone in third place in just her fifth appearance in a major.
Olympic champion Nelly Korda started the third round in second place, three strokes behind Henderson, but could shoot only even-par 71 _ the worst score of the current top 20 on a warm and still day when only a few tough pin placements kept very low scores off cards.
Korda was on 11 under overall, six shots off the lead and in a five-way tie for sixth with, among others, top-ranked Jin Young Ko (67).
Above them in a tie for fourth place, five behind Henderson, were Carlota Ciganda (67) and Sei Young Kim (68).
If the end to the 2021 tournament is anything to go by, there’s plenty to play for on Sunday.
Minjee Lee made up a seven-shot deficit to third-round leader Lee Jeong-eun in the final round last year and beat her in a playoff.
Brooke Henderson leads the Evian Championship by 3 strokes
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - JULY 22: Brooke M. Henderson of Canada looks on on the 18th hole on day two of The Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club on July 22, 2022 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) – Brooke Henderson is setting the pace in record-breaking style at the Evian Championship.
The Canadian shot a second straight 7-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead after the second round of the fourth major of the year on Friday.
She is the first player in the history of the U.S. LPGA to begin a major with two rounds of 64 or lower.
And Henderson, who is 14 under for the tournament, thinks there’s a reason for her fast start.
“I’ve been having a lot of crepes in France,” she said, smiling. “To keep the momentum going, I’d better have some more.”
Nelly Korda is the only player in the 132-woman field within four shots of Henderson.
The Olympic champion and former No. 1 was three back, having finished birdie-eagle at the picturesque Evian Resort Golf Club to shoot 67.
It is Korda’s fifth event since returning to competitive action after more than four months out because of surgery on a blood clot on her arm.
South Korean players Sei Young Kim (65) and So Yeon Ryu (66) were tied for third place on 9 under, five shots adrift of Henderson. Among the bunch of six players on 8-under par was a Frenchwoman, Perrine Delacour, after her round of 68.
Henderson, who won her only major title at the Women’s PGA Championship in 2016, started her afternoon round four shots behind Korda – who was part of the morning wave – and birdied her first two holes.
There was a bogey at No. 3 and a birdie at No. 9, before Henderson went on a roll over the back nine. She had back-to-back birdies from No. 11 and then made putts from 15 feet, 8 feet and 10 feet for birdies on the final three holes.
“It feels really nice to get off to a fast start in a major championship,” Henderson said.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do that. To get it this far under par is really awesome and I feel like I’m hitting the ball really well, which is nice, and making some putts.”
The highlight of Korda’s round was her second shot at the par-5 18th, a high fade which landed in the middle of the green and rolled to inside 3 feet from the cup. She made no mistake with the putt for eagle.
Korda said she has been suffering from jet lag and barely slept ahead of the early start to her second round, which opened with what she described as 10 “stress-free” pars.
Like Henderson, Korda has won one major championship – last year’s PGA Championship – and was No. 1 in the world when she stopped playing in February.
Now she is No. 3 and is coming off three top-10 finishes in that little stretch since her return.
First-round leader Ayaka Furue shot 72, nine strokes worse than Thursday, and was in a five-strong group on 7 under.
Defending champ Ko & Henderson lead star-studded field of early commitments to 2022 CP Women’s Open
Brooke Henderson (L) of Canada reacts with Jin Young Ko. (Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
Golf Canada, in partnership with title sponsor Canadian Pacific (CP), has announced that many of the world’s top players have committed to compete in the celebrated return of the 2022 CP Women’s Open from August 22-28 at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club in Ottawa.
Leading the charge is defending champion Jin Young Ko, currently ranked no. 1 in the world and no. 9 on the current LPGA Tour Money List, who won in 2019—more than 1,000 days ago—prior to the past two of cancellation due the global pandemic.
Local favourite and 11-time LPGA Tour winner Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., an honorary member of Ottawa Hunt currently ranked no. 10 on the LPGA Tour money list, will join Ko in leading a field of early commitments that include 16 of the top 20 players on the current LPGA Tour money list (10 of the top-10 & 41 of the top-50), seven past CP Women’s Open championships, and 11 in year winners including all 2022 Major winners.
The early player commitments to challenge for the $2.35 million USD purse—one of the largest prizes on the LPGA Tour—will include golf’s brightest stars along with rising talents in Canadian golf.
Henderson, a CP Ambassador who made history at the Wascana Country Club in Regina in 2018 becoming the first Canadian since the late Jocelyne Bourassa 45 years earlier to win Canada’s National Women’s Open, will be joined in Ottawa by fellow Canadians Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Maddie Szeryk, Alena Sharp, Jaclyn Lee, Rebecca Lee-Bentham and Selena Costabile, as well as a collection of talented Canadian athletes who are expected to receive tournament exemptions in the coming weeks to compete in Canada’s National Women’s Open Championship.
Reigning Canadian Women’s Amateur champion Lauren Zaretsky of Thornhill, Ont. has also earned an exemption along with US amateur standout Anna Davis who won the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Canadian golf legend Lorie Kane of Charlottetown, PEI, a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, Order of Canada, and recent inductee into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, will compete in her record 30th CP Women’s Open. A four-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Kane has confirmed that the 2022 event will be her final playing appearance in Canada’s National Women’s Open Championship.
The 156-player field will be returning to the national capital for a fifth time with Ottawa Hunt ready to host their fourth CP Women’s Open and first since 2017. The club is working its way back to premium form following a major storm back in mid-May which caused extensive damage to the golf course including the removal of 1,100 trees on the property.
The 2022 edition of the CP Women’s Open will be a be celebrated return to the LPGA schedule and the community is excited with a full roster of 1,300 volunteers confirmed for the event. Ottawa golf fans turned out in record fashion in 2017 to cheer on Henderson, the local sensation along with the stars of the LPGA Tour. Ticket sales are moving with great pace and one of the largest corporate build footprints in event history will see fan and hospitality structures located on holes 15 through 18.
“Together with our friends at CP we are very proud after two years of cancellation to be back in our nation’s capital in a big way for the celebrated return of the CP Women’s Open,” said Tournament Director Ryan Paul. “Golf fans in this community have gotten behind our National Women’s Open Championship in a major way and with the additional of fabulous new fan and partner activations as well as digital enhancements to the tournament experience, we can’t wait to get back to Ottawa Hunt and put on an can’t miss summer celebration.”
EARLY PLAYER COMMITMENTS: Ko and Henderson are two of seven past CP Women’s Open champions confirmed for Ottawa Hunt including, Ariya Jutanugarn (2016), So Yeon Ryu (2014), Katherine Kirk (2008), Cristie Kerr (2006) and three-time winner Lydia Ko (2015, 2013, 2012) who will be chasing a record fourth CP Women’s Open title.
Ko and Henderson, currently ranked no. 9 and 10 respectively on the LPGA Tour Money List, will be among 16 of the current top-20 players (10 of top-10 / 41 of top-50) on the 2022 LPGA Money List confirmed for Ottawa Hunt including Minjee Lee (1), In Gee Chun (2), Lexi Thompson (3), Jennifer Kupcho (4), Hye-Jin Choi (5), Lydia Ko (6), Atthya Thitikul (7), Mina Harigae (8), Nasa Hataoka (11), Jessica Korda (13), Hyo Joo Kim (14), Celine Boutier (16), Xiyo Lin (17), Eun-Hee Ji (19), and Madelene Sagstrom (20).
CP HAS HEART CHARITY CAMPAIGN TO BENEFIT THE CHEO FOUNDATION: Canadian Pacific and Golf Canada are proud to support the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Foundation as the primary charitable beneficiary for the 2022 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. Among the charitable engagements tournament week will be the Birdies for Heart hole on no. 15 at Ottawa Hunt with $5,000 donation made for every birdie made on the hole during the four rounds of the competition. In addition, CP is also proud to support a community beneficiary in the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital Foundation in support paediatric cardiac care. In the nine years of CP’s title sponsorship of the CP Women’s Open, more than $13 million has been raised to support children’s heart health in Canada.
CP WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT RETURNS TO KICK OF TOURNAMENT WEEK: Golf Canada and Canadian Pacific will host the fifth annual CP Women’s Leadership Summit on Tuesday, August 23 at the Infinity Convention Centre as part of the weeklong excitement of the 2022 CP Women’s Open. The CP Women’s Leadership Summit will bring together like-minded businesspeople from across the country for a day of networking, empowerment, and philanthropy. The Summit will also raise awareness for the CP Women’s Open, with attendees receiving access to the tournament during the week. For more information about the CP Women’s Leadership Summit, including tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.cpwomensopen.com/wls.
2022 CP WOMEN’S OPEN WELCOME “THE RINK” FAN EXPERIENCE: Golf Canada is pleased to introduce the fan-favourite Rink hole spectator experience to the CP Women’s Open for the first time. The energetic hockey-themed hole, complete with fan-pounding rink boards, volunteers dressed as referees and a surrounding hospitality experience will be situated on par-3 17th hole at Ottawa Hunt.
CP WOMEN’S OPEN BROADCAST: The 2022 CP Women’s Open will feature four days of domestic and international television broadcast coverage including Canadian broadcast partner TSN as well as international coverage on GOLF channel. For the first time ever, the CP Women’s Open will also be broadcast on US network television with Sunday’s final round coverage on CBS.
KIDS 12-AND-UNDER GET IN FREE… Golf Canada and CP are committed to offering a fan friendly, family event with the CP Women’s Open. To introduce more juniors to the sport, children aged 12-and-under get FREE admission to the CP Women’s Open for the entire week.
Brooke Henderson lines up a putt on the first hole during the final round of the Meijer LPGA Classic (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Belmont, MI. – The LPGA Tour returned to Blythefield Country Club this week for the eighth playing of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.
Coming off her victory last week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, Brooke Henderson fired a 72 to finish at 15-under.
In addition to her win in NJ, Henderson now has five additional top-10s this season, including a solo second at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions and a tie for fourth at the Honda LPGA Thailand. Though she struggled with her game after the Asian swing, a change in her putting grip seems to have made a major difference, which will be critical as she looks to add a third Meijer LPGA Classic to her resume.
“I started off the year really hot and I had a lot of great finishes, and kind of cooled off and I wasn’t feeling so well and things kind of went a little bit cold there for a little while,” said Henderson. “Definitely having the putting back in my corner and feeling a little bit more comfortable all the time is really key. I feel like left-hand low has made a big difference and so I’m excited moving forward.”
Henderson is the only player to win the Meijer LPGA Classic multiple times; she was victorious in 2017 and 2019, on Father’s Day both years.
After missing a two-foot eagle putt on the first hole of a playoff, Jennifer Kupcho won the LPGA Meijer Classic when Leona Maguire’s three-foot birdie try lipped out on the second extra hole.
Fellow Canadian Maude-Aimee LeBlanc finished the weekend 8-under (T40), with Alena Sharp coming in at minus 6 (T56).
Henderson wins ShopRite LPGA Classic for 11th Tour title
GALLOWAY, NEW JERSEY - JUNE 12: Brooke Henderson of Canada pretends to take a selfie while holding the trophy on the 18th green after winning the ShopRite Classic at Seaview Bay Course on June 12, 2022 in Galloway, New Jersey. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Brooke Henderson returned to the winning circle with a comeback victory at the 2022 ShopRite LPGA Classic.
The 24-year-old trailed by four strokes entering the final round, but rallied on Sunday, firing a bogey-free, seven-under par 64 on the Bay Course at Seaview Golf Club en route to her 11th LPGA Tour title.
“Coming into today I just was trying to go low and see what happens. I didn’t think — I mean, I thought the victory was a possibility, but there are a lot of really talented players ahead of me and I think I was four shots back starting the day,” said Henderson. “I knew it was going to take a little bit of magic, and I’m just really happy that I’m sitting here next to the trophy.”
Henderson tapped in for birdie on no. 18 to secure the clubhouse lead at 12-under, but Lindsey Weaver-Wright matched the Canadian’s effort to force a playoff. In extra holes, Henderson prevailed, making an eagle to claim the trophy.
“I had 193 to the pin. It was a little into the wind and I hit knock-down 7-wood. It’s the same club I hit on 9 that I made eagle there, too, so that was — that club was definitely working for me today. I’ll have to give it a pat on the head later,” said Henderson.
Henderson’s final round score of 64 is the Smith Falls, Ont. native’s lowest score of the 2022 season, and lowest score on the LPGA Tour since the final round of last year’s LPGA Classic where she finished T2.
The winningest Canadian in golf history inched closer and closer to the top in Galloway, before finally getting her hands on the trophy this week.
In 2019, Henderson notched a T11 finish, followed by a T6 result in 2020. One year later, in 2021, she returned to Seaview Golf Club and secured a T2 finish, before competing her run to glory on Sunday for her first LPGA win since the 2021 DIO Implant LA Open.
With her win, Henderson is projected to climb ten spots, from 12th to second, on the CME Globe points list.
Next up for the Canadian is the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, an event Henderson has won twice before, in 2017 and 2019.
Brooke Henderson defending in good spirits at DIO Implant LA Open
Brooke Henderson poses in front of the Hollywood sign holding the championship trophy after winning the LA Open at Wilshire Country Club on April 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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One year ago, almost to the day, Brooke Henderson entered the final round at the DIO Implant LA Open four shots back of the 54-hole lead. The Canadian opened with a 33 on the front nine thanks to three birdies and one bogey and hit her stride at the start of her final nine holes. A birdie on No. 11 gave her the outright lead, with two more carded on 12 and 14. A bogey on 17 cut her lead to two, and with a clutch par on the final hole, Henderson earned her 10th career victory and first since the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic.
“I just came off a bogey on 17 and I knew 18, it’s a very difficult tee shot, even though it’s just a par 3, you definitely don’t want to be over on the left-hand side where I ended up being,” said Henderson. “I was able to get that up and down in that situation where Jess [Korda, the 54-hole leader] had hit it really tight and looked like she was going to make birdie so I needed to get up and down to avoid a playoff and get the win. So yeah, a lot of nerves, but happy I was able to get job done.”
Wilshire Country Club and the LA Open have embraced Henderson’s win, decking out the tunnel that connects the front and back nines with her image and pictures from her victory, thanks in part to mutual partner Sketchers. Henderson, who leads the Tour in Strokes Gained Total per round with 2.22, likes the challenge of this week’s host course, and is feeling refreshed after having to withdraw last week at the LOTTE Championship due to illness.
“You have to think your whole way around and you have to play smart. Even when you have a good plan, you have to execute the shots,” said Henderson, who ranked T5 in driving distance, T4 in greens in regulation and first in scrambling in Los Angeles last year. “It’s definitely going to challenge all parts of everybody’s game physically and mentally. I think that’s what makes this week fun, just that you know it’s going to be a fight from everybody.”
She’ll play alongside friend and World No. 1 Jin Young Ko, who was also in Henderson’s final grouping last year. The two will also be joined by 2022 LPGA Tour rookie and Epson Tour alum Maddie Szeryk, who replaced Jessica Korda in the field after the American withdrew due to injury on Wednesday. The two Canadians grew up playing on the National Team together, and Henderson said she was excited to be competing in a comfortable setting through the first two rounds.
“Hopefully all of us can hit really good spots and push each other to make a bunch of birdies and hopefully be in contention come the weekend,” said Henderson.
Words from Masters Champion Scheffler resonate with Henderson
(Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)
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Following his victory at Augusta on Sunday, 2022 Masters Champion Scottie Scheffler said a few words that have hit a chord with many people around the world, including Canadian star Brooke Henderson.
“We talked about that God is in control and that the Lord is leading me. And if today is my time, then it’s my time,” said the 25 year old.
While Henderson couldn’t watch the final moments at Augusta National on Sunday, she was able to catch Scheffler’s post-win press conference and was taken with his eloquent words about how a big win will – or won’t – affect you as a human being.
“What an amazing champion and what a year he’s had so far,” said Henderson. “I just really loved a lot of the things he had to say and how he approached the Sunday after feeling not his best in the morning time. I really learned a lot actually, so that was pretty cool.”
Henderson certainly knows victory. The 24-year-old has 10 LPGA Tour wins, making her the winningest professional golfer, male or female, in Canadian history. Two of her victories came in Hawaii, with Henderson taking consecutive LOTTE titles in 2018 and 2019. Henderson has never finished worse than 27th at the LOTTE Championship and the mere mention of Hawaii brought a big smile to her face.
“I love coming back to Hawaii. It’s just beautiful everywhere. The surroundings, the ocean, the mountains, the flowers, people are so kind and nice,” said Henderson. “It’s just a great atmosphere and I just always enjoy spending time here. Obviously won here twice, so many great memories. I love that trophy.”
Henderson’s recent play certainly makes her a contender for a third LOTTE title this week. Since missing the cut at the Meijer LPGA Classic in June 2021, she has finished in the top 40 for 18 straight tournaments. Her 2022 schedule features six starts with six top-15 finishes, highlighted by a solo second at the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.
Both Henderson and Scheffler are scheduled to play on Canadian soil this summer at Golf Canada’s National Open Championships. Henderson will compete in the CP Women’s Open taking place August 22-28, 2022 (tickets here), and Scheffler will participate in the RBC Canadian Open from June 6-12, 2022 (tickets here).
Henderson debuts new driver at The Chevron Championship
Brooke Henderson hits a tee shot on the 16th hole during a pro-am prior to The Chevron Championship at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa on March 30, 2022 in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
John Chidley-Hill/ Canadian Press
Brooke Henderson has lost count of all the tweaks and adjustments that have been made to her driver heading into The Chevron Championship.
Henderson, from Smiths Falls, Ont., estimates that she’s tried over a dozen different shafts ahead of Thursday’s first round at The Chevron, the first major of the LPGA Tour season. The switch was necessary as the women’s professional golf circuit changed its rules so that a 46-inch shaft was the maximum length allowed, while the 24-year-old Henderson has used a 48-inch shaft since she was 15.
Henderson said she has been practising with the new, shorter club leading up to The Chevron Championship, where the rule will come into effect. She said she has been holding the driver closer to the end of the grip, which has also had a weight added to it.
Henderson has been on a tear to start 2022, starting with a second-place finish at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions on Jan. 20. She followed that up with a tie for sixth at the Gainsbridge LPGA at Boca Rio on Jan. 27, a tie for 11th at the LPGA Drive on Championship at Crown Colony on Feb. 3, a tie for sixth at the HSBC Women’s World Championship on March 3, and finally a tie for fourth at the Honda LPGA Thailand on March 10 before taking a week off.
Starting 2022 with strong, consistent play was a priority for Henderson after last year which she said wasn’t her best. She said that she worked with her team in the off-season on adjusting several aspects of her play, beyond testing new drivers.
“Short game I think is where I felt like I could really make the biggest difference in my game,” said Henderson. “So spending a lot of time around the greens and just mentally, my mindset, was a big change as well.”
The Chevron Championship is also known as the Dinah Shore, the singer and actress, who founded the tournament in 1972. It has also gone by several sponsored titles including the Nabisco Championship, Kraft Nabisco Championship, and ANA Inspiration.
Regardless of its name, this year’s edition of The Chevron Championship will be its last at Mission Hills. It will move to a new location for 2023, likely near Houston.
Henderson said she hopes she can jump into Poppie’s Pond on Sunday, a tradition dating back to 1988 where the tournament’s winner splashes into the water surrounding the 18th green.
“It’s a little bit sad to leave behind the tradition and history that this course and Poppie’s Pond have,” said Henderson. “It would definitely be an amazing chance to have that last spot in history of making that leap into the pond. That would be very cool.”
Brooke Henderson tees off at 4th hole during the third round of Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course on March 12, 2022 in Pattaya, Thailand. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)
Last week, the LPGA Tour headed to Thailand for the 15th edition of the Honda LPGA Classic.
During the four-day competition, temperatures reached upwards of 42C prompting Brooke Henderson to comment, “I think today was the hottest I’ve ever been in my life.” Still, that didn’t stop the Smith Falls, Ont. native from posting a T4 finish at 23 under – three shots back from leader Nanna Koerstz Madsen.
“Yeah, it was a good finish. I felt like I’ve been playing really well, which is a really good feeling, especially after last year wasn’t my best year,” said Henderson. “So to come out this year so strong, I’m definitely happy and proud of that. I feel like I’m inching my way closer every week to getting a little bit more comfortable and just enjoying those final groups as much as I have been. It’s just so fun, so exciting to be in them. I just look forward to when I have my opportunity to win.”
For Henderson, that win seems just around the corner as the 24 year old recorded her fourth top ten finish in five starts for the 2022 season.
While Henderson was competing abroad, International Women’s Day took place in North America. When asked about the celebration and the women’s game, Henderson responded:
“I think the women’s game is in a great spot. The depth of the tour and the strength of the players coming out every year just keeps getting better. It’s exciting to be part of the LPGA Tour right now just because you feel like you’re part of a movement and part of pushing it forward, which is amazing. It’s nice to see some of the sponsors step up, and to get to play better golf courses at some of our major championships, it’s definitely a cool time to be part of the tour, and hopefully I can keep getting better, too, and keep pushing the boundaries.”
Next up, Henderson heads to Carlsbad, Ca. to compete in the JTBC Classic.
Click here for the full leaderboard from the Honda LPGA Classic.