News about Brooke Henderson
Victory in New Zealand
4 October 2017
Brooke won the inaugural MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open, for her fifth career LPGA title and second victory of the season. She won by five shots over runner up, Jing Yan.
The week in New Zealand featured weather of all kinds, and strong winds and hail on Sunday pushed the tournament to a Monday finish. Henderson battled the tough conditions and had one of the best final rounds in the field, recording three under (69). She finished the week at an impressive seventeen under par.
With only three bogeys in four rounds, Brooke played the consistent golf necessary to succeed in bad weather. She also had great days putting in the first and third rounds, needing only 26 putts each day.
I’ve seen Brooke play many times, in person and on television. Her shot making ability never ceases to amaze me. She seems to have every shot, for any scenario. That was on full display in New Zealand where wind, rain, and thick rough all became factors for players. I have yet to see a shot Henderson cannot hit.
There was a hole in which Brooke short-sided herself. The ball came to rest on a downhill lie, in some gnarly rough. The hole was just a few paces on the green, which was elevated. To get the ball close, she needed to hit the ball into the bank of the green to kill the momentum. Henderson executed flawlessly, and with apparent ease, left herself less than two feet from the hole.
The crazy part about that shot is, it’s not crazy for Brooke. She pulls off shots like that nearly every week. To go along with the incredible shots, is her world class mental game. Henderson is tough. Keep in mind, a poor shot is usually the prelude to an incredible one. Undoubtedly, having the presence of her older sister Brittany (caddying for her) helps her stay calm, and Brooke manages to keep her cool most of the time. This ability to focus, allows her to pull of the miraculous on a regular basis.
The last two months of the season will be interesting, as it usually is. While Brooke is not leading the tour in events played (Megan Khang is currently leading), there is plenty to play for, and I expect her to play every event left on the schedule. A late season charge could put her in position to win the Race to the CME Globe. She’s currently fourth in the yearlong standings. With momentum on her side, another win is very possible. And who knows, a major payday could be awaiting her at the end of November.
28 August 2017
Brooke played on her home turf this past week at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She went into the week with some time off from competitive golf, as the Solheim Cup created a nice little break for players not participating. The tour had twelve consecutive weeks of tournaments heading into the break, and Henderson played in every event but two during that stretch.
Playing in Canada is always special for Brooke, for her and the fans. There’s nothing quite like playing in front of home crowds. However, this past week was extra special as she played in Ottawa, very close to where she grew up. Henderson struggled in the opening round in Canada, and was quoted as saying, “It definitely feels like a major this week.”
Nerves are a factor nearly every time a player tees it up, but it’s obvious there was some additional pressure being felt by Brooke.
The fairways were lined with fans on the first hole to see her round get started Thursday.
This continued throughout the tournament.
Henderson’s three over par, 74, in the first round, forced her to shoot a score under par in the second round just to make the cut on the number. She delivered with birdies on the last two holes.
Then the Brooke we’ve grown accustomed to seeing showed up on Saturday with the round of the week. Playing with a comfort and confidence most of us dream about, she took the course by storm. Henderson shot a course record, eight under par 63, and went from last into a tie for sixth.
These are moments we have come to expect from the nineteen-year-old. She rises to the occasion, giving fans memories that will last a lifetime.
The final round did not go how she wanted, fighting for an even par 71, leaving her in a tie for 12th. A lot was learned, and the support was unreal. Thousands of people filled the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club to see Brooke play. Despite coming up short, Henderson will surely not forget her week at home.
Brooke will be playing in Portland next, where she will look to three-peat as champion.
I am looking forward to the last couple of months of the season. I think she will heat up on the greens, and she has another win or two in her before the year ends.
Game of Inches
29 July 2017
Since Brooke won in Michigan, at the Meijer LPGA Classic, she’s had a close call at a Major Championship, a tie for 38th, a tie for 13th, and a missed cut. After her victory she took the following week off, to celebrate as well as prepare for her title defense at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Henderson played incredible golf down the stretch, and came inches away from another major victory in Chicago.
I followed Brooke for much of the week at the KPMG, knowing she was coming in with great form, and plenty of confidence. Henderson has the length off the tee to differentiate herself from the rest of the field. She took lines off the tee that other players could not even consider. I watched her take on fairway bunkers other players had to lay up in front of. On numerous occasions she had 50-100 yards less than the other players in her group. The combination of power and accuracy puts Brooke in a realm only a handful of players in the world can relate to.
The part of Henderson’s game that is not always clicking, is her putting. She has lots of wedges in her hands on par fours, and the ability to reach many par fives in two. So, putting usually dictates how close to the top of the leaderboard she finishes. At Olympia Fields Country Club, host of the Women’s PGA, her putting was on, and it was a thing of beauty watching Brooke pick apart such a challenging course. When she did get in trouble off the tee, she recovered, missing only four greens in regulation each round. Henderson also managed to stay out of every greenside bunker through all four rounds. Her game was sharp, and her scores reflected that.
In the final round, after making a long birdie putt on the difficult par three 17th hole, Brooke reached the par five 18th hole in two. The precision and attention to detail Henderson shows on each putt is something I’ve seen from few other players. Despite taking longer than usual to read her putts, she seemed to consistently give herself the best chance at making every putt.
After a focused and calculated walk around the hole, reading every part of the green on her intended line, she sized up an eagle putt that would have given her the lead by one. With perfect contact made, the ball rolled along the line she had studied so intently moments before. Every person surrounding the green, and Henderson herself, thought the putt was good. Instead, the ball stopped agonizingly short, less than one rotation away from giving her a legitimate shot at a three, and the title. Brooke tapped in for birdie, which forced Danielle Kang to make birdie to win outright, which she did a few minutes later.
Although she came up just short, Henderson put her world-class talent on display the entire week. Watching Brooke play is a bright spot at every tournament she’s in, and the Women’s PGA was no different. She plays with determination, joy, and in Chicago, showed the ability to play well in high pressure situations.
At the Marathon Classic she missed her second cut of the season. Brooke is currently second in events played and first in rounds played. It’s possible so many weeks on the road has caught up to her. She is taking the week off before the Ricoh Women’s British Open, and this is a strategy I would not be surprised to see her adopt a little more moving forward.
Even with a missed cut in her most recent event, I expect Brooke to play well at the Women’s British Open. She has played well for more than a month, and I think the week off will have her fully refreshed and ready to go.
Back in the Winner’s Circle
21 June 2017
Brooke won her first tournament of the 2017 season, and fourth of her LPGA career, at the Meijer LPGA Classic, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She started the week with a first round 63 (-8) which is her lowest score of the season. Henderson followed that up with rounds of 67 (-4), 67 (-2), and 66 (-3). Brooke and the field at Blythefield Country Club battled lots of rain and strong gusting winds over the weekend. Storms caused delays on Saturday and Sunday, and the par-5 fifth hole played as a par-3 due to standing water. The course played as a par 69 during the third and final rounds.
The first part of this season Henderson did not begin tournaments as strong as she would have liked. Her weekend play was strong however, and propelled her to a few top 25 finishes. In recent weeks her game has been rounding into form, with stronger overall performances. It all came together in Michigan. She combined strong driving off the tee (averaged 279.13 yards), accuracy (she hit 42 of 48 fairways), good putting and superb iron play (hitting nearly 82% of her greens in regulation) to capture the win.
Brooke is heating up just in time for her title defense at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week at Olympia Fields Country Club, in Chicago, Illinois. Along with the Women’s PGA, there is also the U.S. Women’s Open two weeks later. A busy and exciting stretch of the LPGA season is almost here, and Henderson looks ready to defend her title at the Women’s PGA, as well as add new trophies to the trophy case.
My Experience Watching Brooke play at the 2017 Meijer LPGA Classic
I was able to attend the 2017 Meijer LPGA Classic, and it did not disappoint. Watching the best players in the world compete in person is something I encourage all golf fans to do at least once. The diehard fans, the casual fans, everyone. I had a deep level of appreciation for the women playing on the LPGA before seeing them play live, and it has only increased since.
Watching Brooke play is especially impressive. A few weeks ago I saw her play at the Volvik Championship, and I watched her warm up on the range. She started out with an array of wedge shots. Hitting them to a green about 75 yards away. Her first two shots landed pin high on the left side of the green, and then kicked right. Her next two shots landed pin high on the right side of the green and kicked left. I was honestly in awe. But this is what makes her one of the best in the world.
At the Meijer LPGA Classic Brooke was just as impressive on the course. Watching her launch drives over 270 yards on a hilly, yet wet, golf course showed her power. But seeing her avoid trouble was the most striking thing. She was constantly in the fairway. Hitting the ball far, and in the short grass, is a tough combination for anyone to overcome.
Watching Brooke play a round of golf also showed how much she truly loves the game. There were holes where she left her birdie putt short, and was visibly frustrated with herself. But she would make her par putt and move on, often times with a smile on her face. The joy she plays with on the course is contagious and adds to the experience. I overheard fans talking to one another, or even to themselves, saying things like, “Come on Brooke.” “Get it to the hole Brooke.” “You can do it Brooke.” She is not only a likeable player and person, but a loveable one. She is relatable for young girls, (Brooke herself is only 19!) She’s a great player who looks like she enjoys being out on the course. She’s also sure to show her respect to the fans, spending time after each round signing autographs and taking pictures.
My final thought about her victory in Grand Rapids is that she absolutely loves her family, and it was amazing to see her celebrate with her Father on Father’s Day. The scene that played out during the trophy presentation was special. Her Dad popping some celebratory champagne. Followed by the family picture. A big hug and high five from her Dad. And her incredible sister and caddie, Brittany, taking pictures and wearing the biggest smile imaginable. Their teamwork is strong on the course, and she genuinely looked just as excited about the win as Brooke did. It is very hard not to cheer for a player and family as great as the Henderson’s.
Update on 2016’s marathon golfer: No slowing down for Brooke. She is currently ranked first in events (15) and total rounds played (53) so far this season.
1 June 2017
Brooke finished the month of May with three finishes inside the top 21. She tied for 9th at the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Match Play, tied for 14th at the Kingsmill Championship, and tied for 21st at the Volvik Championship. Overall, Henderson has been playing consistent golf as the LPGA begins to close in on Major Championship season.
At the end of June, Brooke will be defending her title at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club near Chicago, Illinois. I caught up with Henderson after she completed her second round at the Volvik Championship, where she shot 6 under to make a big move up the leaderboard.
I asked her if she felt as if her game was on course to defend her title at the Women’s PGA.
Henderson said, “Yeah, it was definitely a good day today, minus six. I haven’t shot that low in a couple weeks, so it’s nice. And good momentum like you said, [with] the Women’s PGA in a few weeks and a couple other majors right after that too.”
Brooke’s attitude is that of a confident player, and her scores are reflecting that same confidence. I look forward to seeing lots of great play from her in the upcoming tournaments.
2 May 2017
Brooke has had a relatively slow start to the season, in comparison to what she showed the golf world last year. So far this season, through nine events, Brooke has finished outside the top 21 twice, where she tied for 45th at the Honda LPGA Thailand and missed the cut at the Kia Classic. The last five events Henderson has started each tournament pretty slow, which included the missed cut. However, on a positive note, she has played really well on the weekends in the last five events (not including the Kia Classic.) Her lone top ten so far this year came at the HSBC Women’s champions, where she tied for fourth. Coincidence maybe, but she started that week with a five under par (67.) If Brooke starts posting some good to great rounds on Thursdays and Fridays, expect her to be near the top of the leaderboard come the back nine on Sundays. She’s staying patient, and slowly finding her game so far this season.
An update on her status as the LPGA’s marathon golfer, she has shown no signs of giving that distinction away. So far she has played in 9/9 events this season. Which is, surprise surprise (not really) leading the tour. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues for the rest of the season.
Brooke Henderson, the LPGA’s Marathon Golfer
Brooke Henderson finished her first season on the LPGA tour in 2016 playing more tournaments than any other player. She played 31 events, making the cut in 30 of them. She won twice, including her first major championship at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Henderson also recorded fifteen top ten finishes, which ranked second. Not a bad year for a teenager just learning how to play on the biggest stage in women’s golf.
There is a very good question that has crossed many people’s minds, and has surely crossed hers as well. Does playing so much help Henderson, or hurt her? The results are hard to argue against. Two wins, fifteen top tens. Those are results that nearly every player on tour would take in a heartbeat. Brooke is no ordinary player though. She has the power, the accuracy, the putting and scoring ability to be one of golf’s great players for a long time. Add her room-brightening personality to that and you get one of the sport’s most adored and admired players. All at the age of nineteen.
With the 2017 season underway it will be interesting to see if Henderson will have a full schedule again, or if she will take a few weeks off throughout the year to be better rested, especially for the bigger events. Brooke is a player who loves golf and loves to compete. In an interview with LPGA.com at the conclusion of last season, Henderson said, “I’m glad to be a part of the LPGA Tour and play every single week, and I pretty much did that.” The decision is ultimately hers, but I would encourage her to keep doing what she loves to do. “Being my first year on tour it was important to see all the different courses and experience the atmosphere in different cities. Next year, it’ll be a little easier. That was really important to me, to get a feel for things out on Tour.”
As her career progresses she may want to play fewer events, and that’s alright. That may even start this year. But for now, while she feels physically and mentally capable of a large schedule, I think she should do it! She has the game and results to back up that decision. Being the marathon golfer of women’s golf may or may not be in the plans for the nineteen-year-old this season, but getting to watch her play every week is definitely something I look forward to.
Super slow motion video of Brooke Henderson’s extraordinary swing
Brooke’s Solid Start to 2017
Brooke started her season with a tie for 21st (-13 total) at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic. Brooke had her best finish of the season to this point, a tie for 4th (-14 total) at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore, March 2nd-5th. Tournament Results
Brooke’s Off-Season 2017
Brooke spent much of her off-season enjoying some time away from golf. After her season ended she spent a couple weeks in Florida enjoying the sunshine and some much needed down time. After the Florida vacation, Brooke went back home to Canada and enjoyed time with friends and family. For the last few weeks of the off-season she returned to Florida to work on her game and prepare for the first tournament of the year, the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic. Henderson and Jutanugarn Enjoy Off-Season, Prep For 2017
About Brooke Henderson
Brooke Henderson (turning 20 in September 2017) is a professional golfer from Canada. Brooke is one of golf’s bright young stars and had a very successful 2016 season. She won twice in 2016, defending her title at the Cambia Portland Classic and winning her first major championship at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The win at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship propelled her to second in the Rolex World Rankings. She is the current No. 12 golfer. Source: Wikipedia
Brooke Henderson in 2016 (Source: LPGA)
31 events, 30 cuts made, $1,724,420 – 3rd on the money list.
Brooke won twice in 2016 including becoming the second-youngest player in LPGA history to win a major championship at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (18y/9m/2d) trailing only Lydia Ko. She had the most starts on Tour with 31 tournaments and had the second most top ten finishes with 15.
A lifelong golfer and fan, Ben Harpring, from Columbus, Indiana is currently finishing up his Business degree at Indiana University – Purdue University Columbus.
Ben hopes to qualify for the Indiana Amateur this year.
“I enjoy writing about things I’m passionate about, and I hope I can help grow the greatest game in the world!”
Image credit: Feature Image of Brooke Henderson with her sister Brittany (also a tour player) courtesy of LPGA media