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June 11, 2015

Brooke Henderson


Q. Brooke, you had some fantastic up-and-downs from behind the green on 7 and 8. Can you just kind of talk about the difficulty of those shots out here when you go long and how critical those were for you, obviously you have the momentum on the last hole but to keep a great round going?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it was important to get those up-and-down and I was able to do it, even though they were very difficult shots, and extremely fast, the green, like once the ball got onto it. I was very happy coming away with two pars. I shouldn't have been over the back on both holes but it's going to happen out here and you've just got to learn from it and try to do your best and move on.

Q. Can you just talk about your short game a little bit and when you felt like you developed shots like that because there are a lot of players out here that still struggle with some of those and when you feel like you gained confidence?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think it's a day-by-day thing. Today I felt really comfortable with all parts of my game, especially around the green, the putter felt really good in my hands and I was able to make a few putts out there. I think over the last couple years, the short game has definitely been a major point where I've been trying to focus on and trying to get better because I noticed it wasn't quite up to the same level as a lot of the best girls out here and I'm definitely trying to fix that. I think putting is something I can still work on and I'm continuing to do that.

Q. You've been out here so much lately, it almost feels like you're a tour member. How comfortable are you that you are ready right now for this, not just playing at this level but this lifestyle.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I love it, and I'm really excited when it's my career and I have full status on the LPGA Tour and I get to travel week-to-week with these girls. They have been very encouraging and very supportive of the way I've played over the last few weeks and I've made a lot of friends, which is always nice. I think hopefully I'll have a long career out here and it just depends on when I'm able to start that career.

Q. You were in contention at the U.S. Women's Open and you've been on the leaderboard a few times here. How have those experiences sort of prepared you maybe to contend this weekend?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's definitely been a huge confidence booster seeing my name up there against the best and close to that top of the leaderboard. Unfortunately I didn't come away with the win in San Francisco, but I was very close, and a couple shots here and there, and it could have been a different story coming away that Sunday. But I think it has made me a better person and a better player and I think when the time is right, everything will come together.

Q. Lydia Ko doing what she did before turning 18 years old winning, as young as she did, was that any kind of a model for you or an inspiration that you could do the same kind of thing?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Definitely, it's very amazing what she's doing, even now that she is 18. Definitely a role model for me and I think every girl out here and every girl looking up to her at a younger age, really incredible. There's so many role models out here, not only for me but for every little girl. I think just being able to play against them and play and learn from them each and every week, it's an amazing experience.

Q. Some of the players have said that this course reminds them of Oakmont in terms of the type of stage that it is and how it feels like very much a major championship venue. This is obviously before your time, but does this remind you of anything you've played at? What was your first impression when you went around here for the first time?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I really like this golf course. It is extremely tough and you need to hit good shots. But it's a lot of fun to play and I think if you hit good shots, you will be rewarded for them. It reminds me a little bit of the course in San Francisco, Lake Merced. Not exactly the same but there are some similarity and I played well out there, so I'm hoping I'll play well here.

Q. The great second shot on the 12th hole that set up the eagle, how far and what did you hit, please?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I hit 7-wood into that green. I want to say it was 204 to the pin, something around there. It was a tough lie because the ball was way above my feet and sort of at the same time sitting down a little bit, so I really went down after it. I had a little bit of a draw, which started from the middle of the green and curved towards the pin. I heard the crowd really go crazy which was awesome to hear, which means it was pretty close. I got up there and it was probably three feet from the hole for eagle and I was able to tap it in. That was really a big jump start to my day today and got me under par pretty quickly.

Q. Do you feel more pressure because it's a major championship or does it even enter your mind?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I don't think so. Like someone said earlier, this is my first major as a professional but I didn't even know that until I saw it on Twitter and I think I said the same kind of thing with pressure. I just have to keep playing my game, and I had a good round today. I'm happy with it. A little disappointed with that last hole but very happy with where I am on the leaderboard and how I played today. I think if I can do that the next three days, it will be very interesting.

Q. You've had an exceptional early part of the year, you played well in San Francisco and played well in Texas and you played well the first round here. What is working and what do you think you need to do to take it to that next level to put a W on the board?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I just have to keep doing what I'm doing. I just have to stay patient, stay consistent. I'm hitting the ball really well right now. Like I said, hopefully that continues over the next three days. I could have made a few more putts today. I left a lot of opportunities out there but a tough course like this, you can't worry about it too much, because birdie putts can very easily turn into bogey putts. It's fast greens and slopey greens and you've just got to take every shot one at a time and see what happens.

Q. You've had your dad on the bag, your sister on the bag and a friend on the bag; that has to be wearing, or is it? Are you comfortable rotating?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I love it. It's something different and I know them all very well and they know my game very well, all three of them. So to be able to rotate I think is very unique and interesting, and I think it keeps things fresh.

Q. And I know that your ultimate goal was to be an LPGA Tour member. A win gets you there. Do you think about that at all?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's definitely in the back of my mind. I'm thinking about it. It would be amazing to get a win this year and not have to go through Q-School or have to worry about the Money List. But definitely like you said, the goal is to have my TOUR card next year and hopefully a long time after that. So I just have to get there one way or another. Just very fortunate to be where I am, and I think playing as an amateur in major championships. Especially U.S. Women's Open the last two years and finishing tied 10th last year, I think is a huge confidence boost for me and has really helped me get ready for this week.

KELLY SCHULTZ: Thank you very much, Brooke, and best of luck the rest of the week.
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