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March 22, 2016

Brooke Henderson

Carlsbad, California

KELLY SCHULTZ: Good morning, everyone. We'd like to welcome in Brooke Henderson into the interview room.

Brooke, it's been a great start so far to your first full season out here on the LPGA Tour, four consecutive Top-10 finishes. What's really been working in your game that has made everything kind of come together, it seems.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's been a really awesome start and I'm really happy about it and excited for the next coming events, too. Game is in a really good place.

At the start of the season, I gained some extra distance, which was really key and it gave me a bit of an advantage over some of the field and coming in with shorter irons. Last week I putted really well. Not necessarily on the last day, but overall, I did, and I think that's something in my game that if I can continue to improve, I'll continue to be on the top of the leaderboard.

KELLY SCHULTZ: Talk about that extra distance. What did you do in that off-season and what changes did you make that have been effective in giving that you extra distance?

BROOKE HENDERSON: A big one a lot of people have been talking about is the equipment change. I went to the new Dragonfly PING driver with a 48-inch shaft which is pretty long.

But you know, what I also worked out and focused on fitness quite a bit to get a little bit stronger and get that extra distance.

KELLY SCHULTZ: Was that a big focus for you in the off-season, to say, what can I do to make myself that little bit longer that will make a big difference when it comes to score.

BROOKE HENDERSON: In the off-season I wanted to be better. I want to be able to contend at the top of the leaderboard more often and get more Top-10 finishes and really move my World Ranking up.

To do that, I thought, I already hit it pretty long, but if I can get it just that little bit longer off the tee and just have shorter irons in and give myself a higher percentage of hitting it closer to the hole, good things would happen.

KELLY SCHULTZ: Another big change is you have your sister Brittany on the bag this year. What difference has that made for you on the golf course to have her there all the time?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I love having my sister on the bag. It's always a lot of fun and she's a great support system for me on and off the course. She's my best friend. She's my caddie, she's my sister.

We spend a lot of time together and we get to experience so many things, traveling around the world, going to new places, meeting new people and I have her support the whole way.

And on the golf course, we're still working through a couple different things and how she helps me out there, but I can always ask her and I can always depend on her opinion and we work really well together.

KELLY SCHULTZ: Working through things, I know it is an adjustment whenever you have a caddie. What are the biggest adjustments to figuring out that groove of how you work together?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Well, it's really awesome. We've never really argued or never really been in fights ever. So when we do have an issue, we can work through it pretty easily and pretty well, which I think is really key, especially with a caddie/player relationship. Every day there's little things in every week but I think we're doing a really good job of overcoming those and just being better.

KELLY SCHULTZ: This week, final tune-up before flexibility week's first major of the year. You've played in the ANA Inspiration once before. How are you feeling about your game heading into next week and how do you feel like this course suits as a good setup heading out to Palm Springs?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, this course is a good test. I know the scores have been pretty low other years, so definitely lots of birdie opportunities. But you've really got to play smart.

I just played the back nine yesterday and you've really got to place your shots and make sure you're on the high side most of the day and putting below the pin.

I'm excited to got to ANA next week. It was a highlight in 2014 when I play played as amateur and I have a lot of amazing memories from there. I'm excited to go back and hopefully jump into Poppy's Pond.

KELLY SCHULTZ: I know you were there for Media Day not that long ago. Did you get a chance to play the course at ANA and what why are your thoughts on playing it differently with a little more length?

BROOKE HENDERSON: The idea was for me to go and play a couple practice rounds, but I just came back from Singapore and the jet-lag really got a hold of me. I slept for many hours, way longer than I should have. So I only got to play nine holes of it.

But just being in the atmosphere and Dinah Shore Drive and being in the clubhouse and just seeing all the preparations for the tournament really happening and getting all set up, that tournament, it just has such a good feel to it. I'm really excited to go there next week.

Q. It was so many years ago, Michelle was this young phenom and Paula and Morgan and Lexi and now they are known as these old veterans. You're 18; does it seem like it's just a couple years from now there will be girls that are thinking you're the old one on the LPGA Tour?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I guess that's kind of how it works. When I was an amateur and junior, there's a lot of really young girls that are really good coming up behind me. I'm excited to be in this position, and I still look up to those players that you mentioned, and they are veterans on Tour but they are still pretty young.

It's a lot of fun to be in this position and I think the field and the strength of players is just going continue to get stronger and stronger, so we'd better get better, too.

Q. Being 18 and full-time life on Tour, I know it's the only life you know, but a lot of your friends are trying to figure out where they want to go to college, and you're figuring out -- your life path is already set and trying to make it on the Tour.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's way less stressful. I talk to some of my friends and they are trying to decide what university to go and what program to take and what career they want to choose.

I'm very blessed and very lucky to have this -- not given to me; I've worked very hard, but a lot of doors and opportunities, that I can live this life. I'm very grateful.

One of my friends just went to -- she goes to the University of Denver. She just went to NCAA nationals and finished 10th in her race which was awesome. She's still trying to do the school thing and compete in her sport; where I'm lucky and I just get to do one sport and that's my career, as well.

KELLY SCHULTZ: What has been the biggest difference this year now, being a consistent LPGA member where your schedule is consistent? And I know last year you were trying to get into fields or playing on sponsor invites. How much has that affected how your travel plans change, how you feel rested coming into events?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it definitely helps, just scheduling-wise and planning-wise. We have booked flights months in advance, where last year we were kind of booking flights the day before we went somewhere new.

So very stress-free, very relaxing compared to last year, and just mentally it helps knowing what events you're going to play in and just getting prepared physically and mentally to know you're competing that week.

KELLY SCHULTZ: We have a big summer ahead with international competition. I see the Golf Canada you wear proudly on your sleeve. Knowing the Olympics are coming for everybody, that's becoming a big buzz around the world of golf. How excited are you for the opportunity to be able to compete for Canada? What will that mean to you to have that opportunity?

BROOKE HENDERSON: The Olympics is something that I've looked forward to almost my entire life. As a young girl, I wanted to play and I remember watching the Winter and Summer Games and watching the athletes, and the passion, the desire, the hard work that they had put in. And I wanted to be one of those athletes, but I didn't know what sport, and I just kind of got lucky a couple years ago when golf was re-announced into the games.

I was way out of position for Canada to go and represent. So I worked hard on my World Ranking and worked hard to improve to make sure I had a spot on team. Now it looks like I'll be going alongside Alena Sharp, who is also a really good friend of mine. I think we'll make a really good team down in Rio. Then the week after is the Canadian Open, so it will kind of be the ideal scenario to bring home gold for Canada.

Q. Cristie alluded to it and other female athletes have the concerns with the Zika virus and things. I know you're only 18, but there's many females -- are your people looking into it about what's going onto make you feel comfortable when you're there?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's definitely a scary situation, but I know the Olympic Committee and everybody is well aware of it. I don't think they would put us in too dangerous of a situation. I think it's definitely something to be aware of and look into. But I guess we'll just -- hopefully things will be a little clearer closer to the time.

KELLY SCHULTZ: Brooke, thank you so much. Look forward to a great week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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