Brooke Henderson CP Women's Open LPGA Tour

Defending champion Jin Young Ko & Canadian sensation Brooke 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, Ont.
 
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.

Champions Tour DP World Tour Epson Tour Korn Ferry Tour LPGA Tour PGA TOUR

Golf Canada Leaderboard presented by Titleist

Golf Canada Leaderboard presented by Titleist

Below is a list of how Canadian golfers fared across the major professional tours the week prior.

PGA TOUR

Xander Schauffele birdied the final hole after rookie Sahith Theegala made double bogey playing in the group ahead of him for a three-stroke swing on the final hole to win the Travelers Championship.Theegala and J.T. Poston finished tied for second, two strokes back. Schauffele, the reigning Olympic champion, won for the second time this season after teaming with Patrick Cantlay to win the Zurich Classic in April. Theegala was trying to become just the second rookie to win this season. …Mackenzie Hughes notched his third straight top 30 result. …Adam Svensson posted his second straight top 25 result. …Ben Silverman got into the event as a Monday qualifier for the second time this year on the PGA Tour.

POSSCORESTOTAL
T25Mackenzie Hughes70-66-68-68-8
T25Adam Svensson71-64-66-71-8
T40Michael Gligic70-68-68-68-6
T46Ben Silverman70-68-69-69-4
MCRoger Sloan72-67

NEXT EVENT: John Deere Classic (Jun 30)

CANADIANS ENTERED: Michael Gligic, Adam Hadwin, David Hearn, Taylor Pendrith, Roger Sloan, Adam Svensson, Nick Taylor

LPGA TOUR

In Gee Chun squandered a three-shot advantage with a bogey-filled front nine but recovered to defeat at faltering Lexi Thompson and Minjee Lee by one stroke at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Thompson, who hasn’t won an LPGA Tour event since 2019, was two up on Chun with three holes to go. Back-to-back bogeys saw her fall one back of Chun and she failed to make her birdie putt on No. 18 which would have forced a playoff. Chun is the third player from South Korea to win at least three majors, trailing only Inbee Park (seven) and Se Ri Pak (five). …Brooke Henderson notched her third straight top-20 result.

POSSCORESTOTAL
T16Brooke Henderson71-69-73-76+1
71Maude-Aimee Leblanc73-73-84-78+20

NEXT EVENT: Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (Jul 13)

CANADIANS ENTERED: Savannah Grewal (a), Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Alena Sharp, Maddie Szeryk (reserve)

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Padraig Harrington almost squandered a six shot lead before holding on to win the U.S. Senior Open by a single stroke. Leading by six at the turn, Harrington watched as Steve Stricker made four birdies over his final seven holes for a closing round 65, the lowest of the day. Harrington became the third straight U.S. Senior Open champion to win in his debut. It was also his first win on the senior tour in just his ninth start. …Alan McLean, who got into the event by finishing second in a May qualifier in Michigan, finished 12th in average driving distance in the tournament

POSSCORESTOTAL
60Alan McLean73-73-74-77+13
MCStephen Ames75-75
MCMike Weir80-72
MCKevin Baker80-72

NEXT EVENT: Bridgestone Senior Players Championship (Jul 7)

CANADIANS ENTERED: TBA

KORN FERRY TOUR

Pierceson Coody carded a final round 66 for a five shot victory over Jacob Bergeron at the Live and Work in Maine Open. The five shot margin equaled the largest margin of victory on the Tour this year. Coody, the grandson of 1971 Masters champion Charles Coody, picked up the win in just his third start as a pro. The win vaulted him to No. 31 in the points race, just 47 points outside the top 25 which would earn him a PGA Tour card at season’s end. …Stuart Macdonald made only his second cut in his last eight starts.

POSSCORESTOTAL
T38Stuart Macdonald67-70-71-69-5
MCDavid Hearn71-71
MCAlbin Choi74-70

NEXT EVENT: The Ascendant (Jun 30)

CANADIANS ENTERED: Albin Choi, Stuart Macdonald

EUROPEAN TOUR

Haotong Li sank a 40-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to defeat Thomas Pieters and win the BMW International Open. Li appeared to have blown his chance to win the tournament in regulation when he bogeyed the 15th hole, leaving him in a three-way tie with Pieters and Ryan Fox. Hei recovered with birdies on No. 16 and 17 before missing a birdie putt on the final hole, which forced the playoff. It was Li’s first win in four years and earned him a spot in the British Open.

POSSCORESTOTAL
MCAaron Cockerill73-70

NEXT EVENT: Horizon Irish Open (Jun 30)

CANADIANS ENTERED: Aaron Cockerill (alternate)

PGA TOUR CANADA

The Elk Ridge Open was cancelled due to rain that made the course unplayable. Tour officials said the event will not be rescheduled. Only 78 of the 156 players managed to finish their first round on Thursday before dangerous weather forced the round to be suspended. Additional rain Thursday night made the course unplayable with standing water on fairways and greens and bunkers full of water.

NEXT EVENT: Prince Edward Island Open (Jun 30)

NOTABLE CANADIANS ENTERED: Eric Banks, Wil Bateman, Blair Bursey, Chris Crisologo, Jared du Toit, Henry Lee, Drew Nesbitt, Étienne Papineau, Lawren Rowe, Jamie Sadlowski, Joey Savoie, Noah Steele

EPSON TOUR

Ssu-Chia Cheng carded a final round 67 for a six-shot victory in the Island Resort Championship. It was the second career victory for the Taiwan native. Jiwon Jeon of Korea finished runner-up in her first Tour event. …Selena Costabile notched her third top 20 finish of the season.

POSSCORESTOTAL
T20Selena Costabile67-72-72-5

NEXT EVENT: Twin Bridges Championship (Jul 8)

CANADIANS ENTERED: Selena Costabile, Rebecca Lee-Bentham, Megan Osland (reserve), Noemie Pare (reserve), Christina Foster (reserve), Brogan McKinnon (reserve), Nayan Calsin Murdoch (reserve), Valerie Tanguay (reserve), Josee Doyon (reserve)

PGA TOUR LATINOAMERICA

Jesus Montenegro closed with an even par 72 and held on for a two-shot victory over Andres Gallegos in the season-ending Bupa Tour Championship. After qualifying for the tournament as the second-last player in the field, the victory vaulted Montenegro up to No. 10 on the points list, earning him conditional status on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2023. Mitchell Meissner finished atop the points list to earn full Korn Ferry membership next season. …Myles Creighton, who started the final round one shot behind the leader, finished 30th on the season ending points list.

POSSCORESTOTAL
T10Myles Creighton70-72-69-73-1
Brooke Henderson LPGA Tour

Henderson finishes T9 at Meijer LPGA Classic

Brooke Henderson lines up a putt
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).

Full leaderboard here.

Brooke Henderson LPGA Tour

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.

Amateur LPGA Tour Team Canada

Canada’s Brigitte Thibault plans to turn pro this summer after exemplary NCAA career

Brigitte Thibault
Brigitte Thibault (Bernard Brault/ Golf Canada)

Canada’s Brigitte Thibault is ready to take the next step in her career.

The product of Rosemere, Que., said on Wednesday that she plans to turn professional sometime this summer after a successful career as an elite amateur, competing in the NCAA and representing Canada internationally.

“Next will be half pro events this summer, half amateur events,” said Thibault after competing in her last tournament with the Texas Longhorns. “Just making sure I get in the best field I can to challenge myself as much as possible.

“We’ll be turning pro this summer for sure but right now we’re just going with the flow and see how things go.”

BRIGITTE THIBAULT

Thibault said that she intends to turn professional either before the LPGA’s Q School or the CP Women’s Open, both of which will be held in late August.

Stage I of the Q School will be held Aug. 18-21 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., the CP Women’s Open is at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club Aug. 22-28, and Stage II of the Q School will be held Oct. 18-21 at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla.

Thibault had an exemplary NCAA career, winning five titles while as an undergrad at Fresno State between 2018 and 2021. She won the 2019 Mountain West Conference Championship, the 2019 Ontario Women’s amateur Championship, the 2020 Women’s Western Amateur Championship, the 2020 Women’s Dixie Amateur and the 2021 Rebel Beach Intercollegiate. She also won bronze with Canada at the 2019 Pan American Games in the mixed team event.

She moved from Fresno State to the University of Texas at Austin for her fifth and final year of eligibility as a graduate student. Her best result as a Longhorn was tying for 14th at the Bruzzy. She also helped the Texas Women’s Golf squad to a one-over-par 289 on Monday to close out the season in 13th-place at the NCAA Championship.

“I think it hasn’t sunk in yet to be honest,” said Thibault of her collegiate career coming to an end. “I was just with my teammates today and reminiscing on all of the years.

“I’m at a loss for words, I’m just super grateful for all the years, all the learning experiences, and it’s just a lot of emotions altogether.”

Thibault said her next event will still be an amateur tournament, either the British Women’s Amateur Championship at Hunstanton Golf Club in Norfolk, England, on June 20-25 or the Porter Cup at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, N.Y., on July 13-16.

LPGA TOUR _ Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., was paired with Jeongeun Lee6 at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play in Las Vegas. The event at Shadow Creek Golf Course will have three days of round-robin play and then the knockout round.

EPSON TOUR _ Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., and Selena Costabile of Thornhill, Ont., will tee off on Friday in the Inova Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship in Howey-In-The-Hills, Fla. Costabile is 66th on the Epson Tour’s money list and Szeryk is 148th.

CP WOMEN’S OPEN _ The Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club, host of this summer’s CP Women’s Open, posted on Sunday that its course was severely damaged by a severe storm that swept through the area over the weekend. The club shared photos of several uprooted trees in an Instagram post announcing that the club would be closed until further notice.

PGA TOUR _ Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C., and Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., are the only Canadians in this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Taylor enters play this week 112th in the FedEx Cup rankings and Svensson is 126th.

KORN FERRY TOUR _ Toronto’s Albin Choi leads the Canadian contingent into this week’s NV5 Invitational at the Glen Club Golf Course in Glenview, Il. He’ll be joined by David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., and Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont. Choi is ranked 89th on the second-tier tour, Hearn is 117th and Silverman is 190th.

Brooke Henderson LPGA Tour

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)

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.”

Brooke Henderson is doused with water by Jin Young Ko of Republic of Korea after winning the LA Open at Wilshire Country Club on April 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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.

LPGA Tour

The road to revival for Maude-Aimée LeBlanc

(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

When Maude-Aimée LeBlanc has been on this season, she has very much been on. And now she’s hoping she’ll continue to trend in right direction as the springtime stretch kicks into high gear.

LeBlanc, who retired from professional golf in 2019 but made a hearty return in late 2020 and re-earned her LPGA Tour card for 2022, has notched two top-10 results so far this season. Her tie for 4th at the JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol in late March was her career-high finish on the LPGA Tour and it helped earned her a spot in The Chevron Championship – the first major of the season.

The native of Sherbrooke, Que., also finished tied for 8th at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio in January.

“Two top-10s out of four tournaments… That’s a pretty good average if I can keep that up for the rest of the season,” said LeBlanc with a laugh from Hawaii, where this week’s LPGA Tour event is taking place.

LeBlanc, who is part of Golf Canada’s Young Pro Squad for 2022, was re-motivated to pick the clubs up again in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. She decided to step away from professional golf after a disappointing season in 2019, but when golf returned to TV – as one of the first sports back in June 2020 – she decided she wasn’t done yet.

She played a handful of Epson Tour (then Symetra Tour) events later that year before putting her foot on the gas in 2020. She finished sixth on the Tour’s season-long money list to re-earn her LPGA Tour card for this season.  

LeBlanc’s previous best LPGA Tour result was a tie for 7th, which came in 2017. Now she said she’s thriving when she’s near the top of the leaderboard.

“I think I have a tendency to play better under those circumstances when I’m playing with really good players or moving up the leaderboard,” said LeBlanc. “That motivates me to play better, more so if I’m fighting to make the cut. It’s a lot harder for me to focus or find the motivation to grind it out.”

Through the early part of the season LeBlanc has leaned on her incredible length and solid tee-to-green game. She’s averaging more than 277 yards off the tee so far in 2022, which is good for 7th on Tour. She’s also 7th in Greens in Regulation. In her prior run on the LPGA Tour LeBlanc, who will be the first to admit as such, struggled with her putting. But she’s also turned that into a strength the last few years.

LeBlanc also had a front-row seat to greatness earlier this season, playing alongside world No.1 (and reigning CP Women’s Open champion) Jin Young Ko. LeBlanc said she “really wanted” to see Ko’s game up close and observe how she’s been able to go on her record-setting run. When LeBlanc and Ko played together the 2021 Player of the Year was in the midst of a streak of 34 rounds under-par in a row.

“I usually don’t watch other players swing but I think she has a really good one and I did watch it a lot,” said LeBlanc. “Her tempo and the consistency she has is amazing. That makes the difference between her and everyone else – and she’s able to make a lot of putts, too.”

Although LeBlanc didn’t get the prep work she would have liked at Mission Hills Country Club – she missed the cut at the first major of the year after being part of the final group of players to earn a spot in the field – she’s quickly getting reacquainted with the LPGA Tour’s layouts. She admitted she may not have kept playing had she returned to the Epson Tour this year, but between her solid early-season results and her tee-to-green successes already, she’s as excited as ever to keep things going.  

“It’s been a good beginning so far,” said LeBlanc. “It’s been really fun.”

The LPGA Tour’s LOTTE Championship begins April 13th from Hoakalei Country Club. LeBlanc, Maddie Szeryk, and Brooke Henderson – who won this event in back-to-back years in 2018 and 2019 – make up the Canadian contingent.

Brooke Henderson LPGA Tour PGA TOUR

Words from Masters Champion Scheffler resonate with Henderson

(Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)

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).

Brooke Henderson LPGA Tour

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)

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.”

LPGA Tour

Maude-Aimée LeBlanc ties for 4th to collect career-best LPGA finish

Maude Aimee Leblanc
CARLSBAD, CA - MARCH 26: Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Canada tees off the second hole during the third round of the JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol at Aviara Golf Club on March 26, 2022 in Carlsbad, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) – Atthaya Thitikul won the JTBC Classic on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour title, three-putting for bogey on the second hole of a playoff to outlast Nanna Koerstz Madsen.

“It’s just crazy in my mind right now,” Thitikul said. “I cannot believe that I became LPGA winner. It’s feel amazing as well.”

Canada’s Maude-Aimée LeBlanc finished tied for fourth for her best performance of the season. Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., shot a 4-under 68 round.

Yeah, I feel like the more I put myself in that situation the more comfortable I will feel. So, yeah, it’s great experience. It shows me that I belong out there, so it’s good feeling.

Maude-Aimée Leblanc

After Koerstz Madsen’s 15-foot bogey putt hit the edge of the cup and stayed out away, the 19-year-old Thitikul rolled her 10-foot par try close and holed out for the breakthrough victory.

“A lot things going through my head,” said Thitikul, a two-time champion of the World Junior Girls Championship. “But one thing that I really want to focus is like just, `Do your every single shot.? Just like, `If you lose, if you win, this is another chance to learn. So do your best every single shot.? That’s it.”

At 19 years, 25 days, Thitikul is the youngest winner on the LPGA Tour since Brooke Henderson in the 2016 Portland Classic at 18 years, 9 months, 23 days. The Thai player also has two victories on the Ladies European Tour.

Koerstz Madsen lost two weeks after winning a playoff in Thailand to become the first Danish champion in LPGA Tour history.

They matched pars on the first extra trip down 18, with Thitikul missing an 8-foot birdie try. Koerstz Madsen drove left on the second playoff hole and hit her second from an awkward stance near the cart part into the greenside water.

“It’s a hard shot,” Koerstz Madsen said. “It’s a hybrid from the rough _ not a very good lie, above the feet. I just tried not to pull it too much from that lie, and then obviously I did not pull it. I pushed it quite a lot.”

Thitikul shot an 8-under 64, making nine birdies and a bogey to post at 16-under 272 at Aviara Golf Club in the final event before the first major of the season next week at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage.

Koerstz Madsen, three strokes ahead of Na Rin An and and six in front of Thitikul entering the round, had a 70. She took the lead with a birdie on the par-5 17th, then bogeyed 18 to fall into the playoff.

“It wasn’t a very good playoff,” Koerstz Madsen said. “I played a good week and I’m happy with the game. I could have maybe have done a little better today, but it was what I could do.”

An was third at 15 under after a 68.

“I think I played well overall, but there were some parts that were a bit disappointing,” An said. “With a major tournament next week, I want to focus on my game even more.”

Top-ranked Jin Young Ko (68) was 14 under with Pajaree Anannarukarn (68) and Canada’s Leblanc. Coming off a victory three weeks ago in Singapore, Ko extended her tour record for consecutive sub-par rounds to 34. She’s won six of her last 11 tournaments.

“I’m very excited to play next week’s major,” Ko said. “But this is a little sad, too, last tournament at Mission Hills.”