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August 16, 2015

Brooke Henderson


THE MODERATOR: Happy to be joined in the media center by 2015 Cambia Portland Classic champion Brooke Henderson. Brooke, how does it feel?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's amazing. It's such an unbelievable thing, and I can't really‑‑ it's not even real‑life yet I don't think. I was just trying to play my own game, and I kept trying to get it to minus‑24 all day today, and I came up a little bit short, but I got the win, and I'm extremely excited.

Q. You mentioned the other day you're a scoreboard watcher. I know you were up quite a bit. How hard was it to keep putting the pressure on the other players?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I tried to just keep making more birdies. I had a number in mind, and I was trying to chase after it, and I was trying not to watch the girls I was playing with, Sandra and Morgan, or any other players, and I noticed early a couple people were making a move, Caroline made it to minus 13, I think, in just her first couple holes, so I saw that, but like I said, I was just trying to play my own game.

Q. Seen on the 18th green, you make the putt, friends and family out there celebrating with you. What was that experience like?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it was awesome. I was hoping somebody would come out with champagne or water or something and I had lots of people out there. No, it was unbelievable, and I'm soaking wet now. Like I said, the cheer on 17 and the cheer on 18 were something that I never really experienced before, and it's definitely something I'll remember.

Q. First Canadian winner since Lorie Kane. That has to mean a lot to you.
BROOKE HENDERSON: It does, and I think Canadian golf is really growing, and there's a lot of great players coming up. But to get that and for Canadian fans and Canadian support that I've received over the last couple months and last couple years is unbelievable, so I'm happy to bring one home for Canada.

Q. Is it safe to say that your game went to a new level this week? Did it feel like that to you?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It did. Everything was together, and even yesterday I was hitting the ball really well, and a couple shots that I didn't hit perfect, I mean, I got lucky bounces and had birdie putts and was able to make them both times.
Yeah, it was a great week, and I think my game has been at a great level all season, but this week‑‑ well, since Monday, really, it all came together, and I was able to go low.

Q. I'm sure you've thought about this in your mind and dreamed of winning on the LPGA for many years. What did that look like in your dreams, and how did it feel out there in comparison? I'm sure maybe you didn't dream of winning by eight for your first title.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Well, it was funny because I don't know if it was today or yesterday, but when I was a little girl I always pictured the fans around the green and watching another player putt, and I saw that just the other day, and I was like, wow, this is pretty cool, and I'm right where I want to be, playing on the LPGA Tour. What I've been saying all year is that when I have opportunities I want to take advantage of them, and I really did that this week.

Q. How long is the golf season in Ontario?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think April to end of October.

Q. So how do you practice or get better during the off months?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Well, when I was younger we hit into nets that were like 10 feet in front of us, both my sister and I, and every so often we'd go and hit into a simulator. I played hockey up until I was 14, so really most of the winter was playing hockey, and just golf on the side. And then the last two years we've been down in Daytona Beach, Florida, and I'll probably do something like that again this year.

Q. You're 5'4"?

Q. Where does your power come from?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Well, my swing is pretty unique, and I've had it since I was a little girl. It hasn't really changed. People always back home say it reminds them of my dad's swing when he used to play, and he used to hit it really far. So I think we have similar swings, and similar attitudes that power is good.

Q. You mentioned yesterday that you'd gone through this before in San Francisco. What was this morning like for you? What changed today versus what you went through in San Francisco?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Today the first time that I really felt nerves were on 18, and then afterwards. My attitude is much different than it was a couple months ago, and I think that was a big key. All I can say is my attitude was just much different, and I demanded a lot more of myself than I did three or four months ago.

Q. You still have to petition because you're a month away, but what's your plan? Will you defer to next year to try to be Rookie of the Year? Will you accept your card immediately?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I haven't even really thought about it yet. I'm just going to celebrate tonight and then hopefully make a decision soon and we'll see what happens.

Q. Any idea how you'll celebrate? Do you have a favorite restaurant here?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Well, actually we're driving up to Vancouver, so maybe it'll just be a fun car ride.

Q. Alena Sharp was saying she thought this would be huge in Canada. Do you have a sense of how this might play back home?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Well, the Canadian support has been unbelievable and the Canadian media have been really following me. Even the last couple days I received a lot of Twitter messages and text messages and emails, just cheering me on and wishing me the best. I'm sure my phone is blowing up pretty badly right now.
But yeah, you mentioned Lorie Kane being the last Canadian winner on the women's Tour, I think this will be a big deal back home.

Q. Did you get to taste any of that champagne or just get it all on your back?
BROOKE HENDERSON: No, not really. I can just smell it, though.

Q. You mentioned 24. Why 24‑under?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It was just‑‑ I didn't think anyone could catch me there, and I wanted to play well today. I wanted to hit good shots and try and make as many birdies as I can so that nobody could catch me, and minus‑24 sounded like a pretty good number to me.

Q. Now that you have your card secure, the first time that the commissioner told you no for petitioning for Q‑school, how much did that motivate you to make a point and to prove something?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, I think honestly it was the best thing that could have happened to me. It made me work really hard and be really dedicated and really focused. It made me really realize what I really wanted in life and what I really desired, and I think it was the best thing that could have happened.

Q. Your dad and your sister were here. Was your mom here, also?
BROOKE HENDERSON: No, my mom is back home.

Q. And it's just the two girls, right?
THE MODERATOR: Brooke, great playing this week. Congratulations on your first win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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