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.
Henderson finishes T6 at HSBC Women’s World Championship
Brooke Henderson plays her shot from the fifth tee during the final round of the HSBC Women's World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE – Last Thursday, the LPGA Tour took to Sentosa Golf Club for the 14th time for the HSBC Women’s World Championship. It was here where Brook Henderson recorded her third top-10 LPGA finish of the season, firing five under 67 to finish tied for sixth place.
Leader Jin Young Ko earned her sixth win in her last 10 LPGA Tour starts and set two new benchmarks in the record books, marking her 15th consecutive round in the 60s and her 30th consecutive round under par.
Next week the LPGA Tour heads to Thailand where Henderson will compete in the Honda LPGA Thailand.
Familiar conditions for Henderson at LPGA Drive On Championship
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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FORT MYERS, Fla. – The CP Women’s Open is still her home event, the one where she hails as a national hero who dominates the coverage and has the backing of at least 90-percent of the gallery. Let’s face it, Brooke Henderson is as popular as ever in the land of the Maple Leaf. Whether it’s Vancouver, the Maritimes or any point in between, when Brooke tees off in Canada, it’s a home game.
Henderson’s Florida home is about 15 minutes south of Crown Colony Golf & Country Club, and the course where she practices almost every day she’s not on the road, Miramar Lakes, has a similar look and feel to the course she will play this week.
“I think the greens are a different type of grass, so it’s a little bit different that way,” Henderson said. “But, I mean, for the most part you can be aggressive on some shots. The greens where I play at home are pretty slopey. These greens can be (that way) here on a few holes, too. So, I feel like there is definitely some similarities to it – definitely the heat and wind are all very similar to what I play on.”
Sometimes a home game has nothing to do with the golf course. It has to do with comfort; with the environment and knowing where you are and what you can expect. Before the LPGA Tour announced that the Drive On Championship would take place at Crown Colony, Henderson didn’t even know the place existed. Like most of players in the field, she thinks it’s a hidden gem. “It was a new course to me, so I’m excited to play this week,” Henderson said. “I was able to play here once during the off-season, which was nice, just to kind of get a first look at the course and how it was going to play.”
But more importantly than course knowledge, Henderson knows what the wind off the Gulf of Mexico will do to golf shots in this area. She understands how the ball will fly late in the afternoon down here. She knows how fast the grass grows in this part of Florida. A lot of that is instinct. She couldn’t explain to you what it means when the barometric pressure falls at 4:00 p.m. But she’s experienced it enough to adjust without a second thought.
“You know, playing in Florida, being here at sea level or below sea level, you know your distances. Sometimes when I go out west, I really have to adjust my distances. Players that live out west who come to Florida, it’s a big adjustment, because the ball doesn’t fly as far here. That is a nice advantage that I have living in Florida and playing these three events. I don’t have to fight my yardages. I know them.
“And, also, I’ve played in these windy conditions pretty much the last two months. All those things are nice to be familiar with. Hopefully, it gives me a little bit more confidence on the weekend.”
Her confidence is pretty high anyway. She’s played two events in Florida already and finished second and tied for sixth. She ran out of holes at Lake Nona or few doubt that she would have caught Danielle Kang at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. And she shot 74 in the bad weather on Saturday at Boca or she might have challenged Lydia Ko at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio.
This week, she is sleeping in her own bed, picking clothes out of her closet instead of a suitcase, and pulling food out of her own fridge instead of ordering takeout. Her caddie and sister, Brittany Sepanik, lives about five minutes away from Brooke. They wore matching outfits on Wednesday – a complete accident that is easier to do when you’re playing from home.
“Honestly, there is definitely pros and cons to (staying at home during tournament week),” Henderson said. “Sometimes when you’re staying at home you think, oh, it’s just an off week, it’s off-season, so you’re not as focused, especially early in the week. So, you have to pay attention to that and remember you’re in a tournament. You need to wake up early. You need to go through your regular routines.
“When you’re on the road week after week you really get into that routine. You stock your bag the night before and you are in a hotel room that’s only so big, so you kind of know where everything is. At home everything is spread out.
“So, it does take a little bit of adjustment, But I do appreciate staying in my own bed. I enjoy the relaxation that home presents.”
Brooke Henderson at the Pelican Women's Championship at Pelican Golf Club (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
BELLEAIR, Fla. – Brooke Henderson finished the Pelican Women’s Championship at 14 under, earning her the fifth position on the leaderboard. The performance was her seventh top-ten finish of the year.
“It was a really nice week and it’s nice to finish off well today,” said Henderson. “I made a lot of birdies and it got really tough there on the back nine with strong gusts of wind so you know I’m happy to shoot 500 today and climb up the leaderboard. Hopefully it’s a good sign for next week.”
Henderson is set to compete next in the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla.
Fellow Canadian Alena Sharp fired a 69 to wind up 3-under 277 in a tie for 52nd.
American Kelly Korda came out on top after a four-way playoff.
Henderson learned from pared down 2020 season, but excited for busier 2021
Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Canadian Press with files from Golf Canada
Brooke Henderson’s breakneck pace of nearly 30 tournaments a season was slashed to a pedestrian 10 in 2020 due to COVID-19.
But the 23-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ont., said she found a silver lining in the slow year.
“Only playing 10 events last year kind of taught me how to prepare for events a little bit differently, because I was having more breaks naturally that I wasn’t used to having,” Henderson said Tuesday. “So, it kind of taught me how to prepare on those off-weeks to still perform well, when I was (eventually) back out competing.”
Henderson is in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for the LPGA Tournament of Champions which begins Thursday. She hopes it’s the start of a busier 2021 season, but she also plans to pace herself, particularly as the global pandemic still rages across the U.S.
“I’ve definitely sat down with my dad (Dave, who’s her coach) and looked through the schedule, it’s hard to say right now, you never really know what’s going to happen with COVID. God forbid if it got worse or something,” she said. “So, you have to be a little bit prepared to maybe take some events off that you don’t want to, but at the same time, we have a game plan and I’m really looking forward to playing this week . . . and take it from there.”
Henderson is back after a brief off-season. She was seventh at the CME Group Tour Championship, which ended five days before Christmas, then flew home to spend the holiday with her family. A dump of snow in Smiths Falls, plus the required quarantine at home, meant she didn’t get much training in over the break.
“But at the same time, it was kind of nice to take a break and kind of get refreshed for 2021,” she said.
The highlight of her visit home was ice skating on a lake.
“Took me back to when I was really young, spending Januarys in Canada,” she said.
This week’s Tournament of Champions is a glitzy fun event featuring 25 pros and 50 celebrities, with a US$1.2-million purse over 72 holes and no cut. Henderson said she chatted with former Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, who she plays with on Thursday, on the range.
“It is really fun though seeing all the celebrities, it’s a different atmosphere than just a regular Tour event,” she said.
“We’ll definitely miss the fans this year, because it’s always a huge part of this event. But I’m still looking forward to the opportunity just to getting to know some of these celebrities a little bit more, I always enjoy playing with them.”
Henderson had six top-10 finishes in the pared-down season, and is ranked No. 6 in the world.
“I’m really proud to be in the top-10,” she said. “It’s hard because a lot of people ask me about trying to become world No. 1, and it’s not necessarily a huge goal of mine right now. Obviously I would love to move up in the world rankings, but I’m just trying to take a tournament by tournament and small goals along the way. If I finally get the opportunity to compete for that No. 1 spot, I’ll definitely try my best.”
Henderson won’t play again until the second stop on the tour calendar which tees off Feb. 25 in Orlando. The schedule _ if the global pandemic co-operates _ then gets busy. She’s already secured a spot on the team for the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed a year.
She’s also keen to play in the CP Women’s Open, which was one of the numerous events erased by COVID-19 in 2020. The 2020 host Shaughnessy Golf and Country in Vancouver will get the chance to hold the Canadian stop this August.
“I’m really excited, the way the schedule looks this year, looks really healthy. And, hopefully I’ll be able to compete in many more tournaments and hopefully get back on to my winning streak.”