Brooke Henderson wants to become first golfer to defend Evian Championship as a major

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No one has won the Evian Championship in back-to-back years since it became a major, but Canada’s Brooke Henderson is in a position to do just that this week.

Henderson beat Sophia Schubert of the United States by a stroke to win the Evian last year for the second major title of her career.

Although women’s golfing greats like Helen Alfredsson, Laura Davies, Annika Sorenstam and Ai Miyazato have won the Evian multiple times, none of them won it after 2013 when the LPGA Tour named it a major.

“I love the opportunity to try to defend my title,” said Henderson at a news conference on Wednesday. “Holding the trophy yesterday when I had to give it back was very sad but, at the same time, it was very emotional.

“It was really cool for me to see my name engraved on the trophy and join a long list of past champions with an incredible history. It’s really cool for me to be a part of that.”

Only Davies won the Evian Championship in consecutive years, winning what was then a Ladies European Tour event in 1995 and 1996, more than a decade before it was elevated to major status. Alfredsson (1994, 1998, 2008), Sorenstam (2000, 2002), and Miyazato (2009, 2011) all won their titles with at least a year between them.

“That’s really exciting to have the opportunity to be the first one back-to-back,” said Henderson, who said it was her goal this week at Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France. “But there’s so many talented players here this week, the best in the world, and just have the opportunity to do well and compete against them every week is really cool.

“Hopefully I just start out Thursday and Friday with some solid rounds, and see if I can put myself in contention to try to do it again.”

Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., is the other Canadian in the field at the Evian. Henderson is 17th on the LPGA Tour’s points list and Szeryk is 84th.

Henderson, from Smiths Falls, Ont., has the most career wins of any Canadian professional golfer with 13. Her most recent was the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions on Jan. 22, the first event on the LPGA Tour schedule.

It’s an annual goal of Henderson’s to win at least twice every season – one of the reasons why she’s the most successful golfer in Canadian history – and with seven months since her last victory, she’s ready to complete this season’s set.

“It’s been a goal of mine since I’ve been on Tour to win twice a year,” said Henderson, who has won a pair of tournaments in five of her nine seasons since turning pro in December 2014. “I’ve done it most years, not all years.

“It was really great to start out the year with a win my first time out this season and then it’s been a little bit up and down since, but I’m looking forward to a lot of great events coming up, especially this week.”

EPSON TOUR – Hamilton’s Alena Sharp is the top-ranked Canadian on the Epson Tour’s money list this week. She sits 12th heading into the French Lick Charity Classic at the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Ind. Selena Costabile of Thornhill, Ont., is 46th and Quebec City’s Sarah-Eve Rheaume is 142nd.

PGA TOUR – There are six Canadians in the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minn., this week. Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., leads the Canadian contingent into the tournament. The 36th ranked golfer on the FedEx Cup standings will be joined by Adam Hadwin (37th) of Abbotsford, B.C., Mackenzie Hughes (44th) of Dundas, Ont., Taylor Pendrith (108th) of Richmond Hill, Ont., Michael Gligic (207th) of Burlington, Ont., and David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., who is unranked.

KORN FERRY TOUR – Edmonton’s Wil Bateman and Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., are the only Canadians in the NV5 Invitational at The Glen Club in Glenview, Ill. Bateman is 54th on the second-tier tour’s points list and Sloan is 111th. Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont., clinched a full PGA Tour card next season with his runner-up finish at he HomeTown Lenders Championship on Sunday.

CHAMPIONS TOUR – Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., is the lone Canadian in The Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl Glof Club in Bridgend, Wales. He’s 36th in the Schwab Cup rankings.

PGA TOUR CANADA – Etienne Papineau of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., is the top-ranked Canadian on the PGA Tour Canada, sitting third in the points list of the third-tier tour. He’s the top Canadian in the field at this week’s Osprey Valley Open at TPC Toronto (Heathlands) in Caledon, Ont.