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June 12, 2016

Brooke Henderson

Sammamish, Washington

MEGHAN FLANAGAN: It is my absolute pleasure to welcome in the 2016 KPMG Women's PGA Championship winner, Brooke Henderson.

What a finish. You saved your best for last, a 6-under, 65 today to edge out Lydia Ko in the playoff there. I know it's kind of settling in right now, it's a bit of a whirlwind, but tell us what your emotions are, how are you feeling?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Well, it was an amazing day, for sure. Starting out second hole they had the tees up a little bit, par 5 and I thought maybe I could go for it in 2. And I did, I kind of took a chance. I knew I needed to hit that club really well to get it there. I started off with a birdie there. And got one more on the next par-5 and finished the front nine at 2-under. It was a pretty good score on that tough golf course. But I saw the leaderboard and I knew I needed to be better.

When that putt went in on No. 11 for eagle, that was kind of like the huge jump forward, huge momentum changer. And then things just really went pretty well. A good save on 14 out of the bunker. And then good putts on 17 and 18 to kind of finish it.

And then that playoff against Lydia Ko, the World No. 1, great competitor, she's already won the last two majors on the LPGA Tour. And I knew I would have to do something special to beat her, and I was able to do that.

MODERATOR: Youngest winner of this event in this championship with such a long history. Second youngest major winner on the LPGA Tour to Lydia. What does that mean to you? Do those records and you putting your name this in the record books, what does it mean to you?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, that's amazing, as well, to think about all of the incredible players that have come before me. And even I was reading some of the names on this trophy and it's very, very cool. But I would have liked to be the youngest ever to win a major championship, but to be able to win this one is a good second best.

Q. Earlier you talked about being the face of Canadian's women's golf, do you think now you are the face of Canadian women's sports? This is the biggest story in Canada?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it will be a big story in Canada. The last couple of days the support from Canada has been really incredible. Walking down the fairway we were yelling my name. But last time they were just yelling Go Canada. And that was kind of a surreal feeling. I can't really put words to it. But I'd like to say that I am the Canadian face to women's golf. And I'd like to say I'm a good athlete for Canada.

Q. The follow-up is a year ago you had no status on the LPGA Tour. Do you think of the journey you've taken, did you ever think you'd be here a year ago at this time?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I mean of course I thought it was -- it was a dream and I thought it was possible. Did I know it was actually going to happen? No way. But I'm extremely grateful. Playing in this event, KPMG PGA Championship last year, I finished T-5. It gave me a lot of money, so it gave me a good chance to finish in the top 40 money list and give me my card. I didn't need to do it that way, but it gave me a lot of confidence knowing I was going to be in the top 40. The tournament was a huge stepping stone for me. Coming into this week I had really good vibes and I loved Sahalee Country Club. And I was just really looking forward to the week, and it turned out to be a good one.

Q. All week we heard you had to be patient on this golf course, hit for the middle of the greens, don't get too greedy. You blew that out of the water right off the bat today. Talk about hitting at all those flags. You just went pin hunting all day.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, today was a little bit different. It was a little bit softer. They had the tees up on a couple of holes, like No. 2, where I could go for it, the par 5 in two. As well as some of the pins were really tucked, and some of the pins were kind of more accessible. So if you missed you weren't going to be in a terrible place. And the chances of missing that far were not as high.

I don't know, I tried to stick to my game plan as much as I could for each hole. But each hole kind of changed today on just the way the conditions were.

Q. What did you hit into 18 in the playoff?

Q. Can you describe the putt from off the green for eagle that really started everything for you on 11 please?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, first of all, I hit a good tee shot there and the second shot was kind of -- maybe the shot of the whole tournament, right close to the hole in one shot or the shot on 8 there, it was really cool. That fairway is really well guarded with trees. And I have a tendency to draw my 3-wood pretty well. And I actually hit it straight with a little bit of cut to go around the tree. And so it was right in front of the green in 2. I knew I needed birdie. And I had 32 paces to the hole. I had about seven yards of a fringe to go over. And then right before the hole there was this big mound that was going to push it right-to-left. Right before I hit it I said, right at that man, there was a man standing behind the green and Britt said maybe a little left of that. Right when I stepped over it the man moved, like ten yards left. I was going, okay, I'm not going to aim at him anymore (laughter).

But, no, to have it go in was incredible. I was just trying to nestle it up and make sure I made birdie. And that was huge momentum changer for me.

Q. It was pretty spectacular theater out there on the back nine. What was it like to be out there amid all the roars and the drama?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, this was maybe like one of my favorite tournaments that I've ever played in. The fans were incredible. And the way the noise echoed here was really cool. I'd never really experienced that before. And when someone made a good putt on 18 and you were just starting the back nine you could hear it. And it was fantastic.

And then a lot of those cheers ended up being for me, which was even cooler. I just thoroughly enjoyed the week.

Q. How long was your putt on 17? I know you weren't happy with the tee shot, how did you get yourself regrouped and get ready for that putt?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I actually thought it was going to be worse than where it was. But it was a pretty decent shot, actually, just pin-high, middle of the green on 17 is usually a pretty good spot. And then just as that putt was coming maybe the last four, three feet I was like, man, this has a really good chance. And this is in. And I was just like -- I just wanted it to go in so badly and then is just caught the right side of the hole there. And I think I even said, yes, to myself. But that was really huge. It might have been putt that won me the tournament.

Q. How long was your putt?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I did count it. I think it was 12 paces.

Q. You and Lydia are obviously very similar in age. How much has her success motivated you?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, for sure it has. Her career. It doesn't even matter her age, her career is amazing. And I was 14 playing in my first Canadian Open, and she was 15 and she won it. So I thought I was doing pretty well. And then she kind of showed me that there was much more. And it definitely really has helped me to be better and to believe in myself, too, just watching her.

Q. Do you sort of relish the idea of you two having duals for years to come?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's pretty cool that we're both kind of coming on to the stage. She was a little bit before me. But looks like our careers will probably start pretty much close to the same time and probably end at the same time. I'm sure -- I hope we have lots of extra holes like that or lots of times where we're contending for the championship.

MEGHAN FLANAGAN: You're projected to move to No. 2 in the world. Which I know you spoke of earlier in the year about your goal of becoming No. 1. How much does this make that goal even closer? I know you're creeping, creeping, creeping, but you're just within swinging distance right now.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, that's -- I didn't know that, so that's --

MEGHAN FLANAGAN: I didn't either, I just found out.

BROOKE HENDERSON: That's pretty cool news. To become world No. 1 you have to compete every week and have a lot of wins. And this is only my second win on the Tour but I've had a lot of top-10 finishes or high finishes. Looking forward to the rest of the summer. There's still three major championships left. I'd like to get my name on all three of those, but I won't get ahead of myself here.

But there's still a lot of tournaments left and hopefully I can get a win or two or just finish near the top and become a better player.

Q. The Northwest has been great to you. You get your first LPGA win in Portland, you get your first major win here in Seattle. How much does this increase expectations going forward?
BROOKE HENDERSON: The Northwest really has been really, really good to me. And coming here it kind of reminded me of Portland a little bit. A little bit similar with the tall trees lining the fairway. And Portland at times can be very tight, as well. Not quite as tight as this course. But there were a lot of similarities. And that was another thing that contributed to good feelings leading into this week. It's just definitely a huge confidence boost and I wish there was more tournaments in the Northwest.

Q. You join Sandra Post as the only Canadians to win a women's major. Do you know Sandra and what do you think she's thinking of this?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I know her little bit. I've gotten to talk to her a few times. I believe she even wished me good luck this week leading into it. But, she had an incredible career, as well, and was definitely huge for Canadian golf, especially women's Canadian golf. It's nice to be right up there with her.

MEGHAN FLANAGAN: Well, once again, congratulations. Enjoy this moment.


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