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November 15, 2016

Brooke Henderson

Naples, Florida

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon everyone. We would like to welcome you all to the 2016 CME Group Tour Championship.

Pleased to be joined by Brooke Henderson here. Brooke, it's an exciting week. Any time you get to see a big box with a million dollars sitting inside of it I know it's exciting.

But you actually find yourself in the top three, which of course you guys control your own destiny. A win this week and you win the Race to the CME Globe.

How does it feel to be in that position?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's super exciting, just like you mentioned there. Going into this year it was a big goal mine to be in the top three and give myself a great opportunity in the final event of the year, which is this week.

I'm really looking forward to it. I know it'll be a tough week, a tough four rounds, but I know if I get off to a fast start and able to play my game, maybe good things will happen.

THE MODERATOR: Really first full season out here on the LPGA. You had been playing last year quite a bit as well. What has this year been like? Two wins, a major championship. Pretty impressive for any player, let alone for your first full year out here. How happy have you been with your season?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, you know, my first full year on tour and it was a dream come true. Being able to play against the best players in the world every single week is amazing. I was able to play pretty well, 15 Top 10s thus far, I think; being able to compete in the Olympics; my first major championship; being able to defend in Portland was another really big goal of mine.

So to be able to go back there and repeat what I did last year to get my tour card was a really big week for me.

THE MODERATOR: When you look at this week and all that is on the line, are you able to put that out of focus, or do you think about that money? It's easy when you say, Okay, there is another tournament coming up, and another one. When it's the ending one it seems maybe it's a little tougher to do that.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it is our final [tournament of the] year, so I definitely want to give it all I got, but hopefully I'll have a long career at LPGA Tour. The season starts in just a couple short months again.

It's definitely a really big week, so I'm definitely really looking forward to it. I think about it a little bit. You know, when I make birdies on the course or bogeys I think it'll still be in the back of my mind.

Hopefully I'll be able to play my own game, take it shot by shot, and finish the tournament in a good spot.


Q. You played a lot this year, and then last week you skipped a tournament; you took a week of rest. Was that your mind or body telling you to slow down, take a break, or both?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Actually, I heard that the jet lag and the time change coming from Japan to Mexico was really difficult. Some girls, they weren't recommending it. I figured it had been a pretty busy schedule, and that time change I wasn't really looking forward to. I really struggled earlier in the year coming back from Australia. I slept for almost a week with that time change.

I thought I would give myself a little bit of rest and prepare for the final two weeks, last week in Mexico and this week CME.

THE MODERATOR: As he mentioned, you've played a lot: 30 events leading into this week; this will be 31, more than any other player on tour this year. Was it your goal to put yourself through that kind of year to see what it's like playing that many events, and how have you been able to keep it up and still play so well?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I think it being my first year it was really important for me to go to most of the events and experience what the golf courses were like, the atmosphere. Maybe in years to come I can pick and choose a little bit more where I play well or where the fans or a little bit better or something like that.

But I had a lot of fun. I got to see and travel the world and around the United States and Canada. I gained so many new relationships with fans and different sponsors, different communities, which also is very important.

You know, my whole life thus far has been wanting to play on the LPGA Tour. Now that I finally have a chance to do it, I want to make the most of it.

Q. You're obviously maturing as a player with the experience. Is your sister maturing as a caddie?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, it's been awesome right from the start. Being a pro golfer as well, she has tons of experience in the game of golf. She caddied for me as an amateur as well. She knows my game and who I am just about as well as I do. We make an awesome team.

I don't think this year I would've had the success without her on my side. My dad is my coach as well. I think alongside my mom who's our No. 1 cheerleader, we make an awesome family and a great team.

THE MODERATOR: How much has that helped you this year with so much playing and travel and all that, to have your sister there as your support and rock? What does she know about your game that makes her really help you out there on the golf course?

BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, she's my best friend, my, and my caddie. She does a lot of the travel and accommodations. She does all that booking. She is really on top of everything.

The bottom line is we have a lot of fun together, which I think makes it a lot easier with time changes and traveling all over the place and sleeping in different beds every single week. I think it makes it a lot easier having someone so close to you and someone that understands how I'm feeling and what I'm kind of thinking about.

Q. When the two of you do have maybe a silly disagreement, then do you have words or look at each other? I mean, being sisters, how do you relate to each other?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, we're very fortunate in that we don't argue or disagree very often. I think when we do we get over it pretty quickly. Because we know each other so well it's really easy to kind of forgive the other one if she said something they shouldn't have or picked the wrong club or something.

It's really easy to get over it just because we have a great relationship.

Q. Two questions: The million dollars, if you should win it, what would you first buy?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I don't know. Maybe a house. Still thinking, I guess. I'm not much of a spender.

Q. Second question: Since you control your own fate here, is it a little bit easier in your mind that you don't have to rely on anybody else or really any sort of math to win that million?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I think that's something that's very unique about the CME. The top three, they do control their own destiny. I know that if I have a solid week and play my game, play my best, at the end of the championship I could be that player that gets to hold that money, gets to become the CME champion.

I've watched Lydia Ko do it the last two years, which I think is maybe a little bit extra motivation that I would like to do it this year.

THE MODERATOR: We talk about the top three. All three of you are 18, 19, 20. We've talked about the youth on tour. What has it been like watching Lydia and Ariya have the kinds of years they have been having too and those types of players to help push you to be even better?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, watching those two play this year was really inspiring. I think Lydia had four wins and May had five or so, something like that. Every week they seemed to be in contention, right up by the leaderboard.

I've become good friends with both of them, which I think is really cool. Sometimes I kind of pinch myself and realize I'm one the top names in women's golf and I get to be in commercial shoots with them and hang out and do certain other photo shoots and interviews and stuff alongside whoever is playing the best right now in women's golf.

It's really cool. I think that gives me that a little bit of motivation, a little bit of adrenaline, inspiration, to be better myself.

THE MODERATOR: You guys had a little fun yesterday shooting commercials for next year about the youth on tour. We had some pictures taken with the money box. I heard you were hesitant to want to touch the money box. Is that a little like a trophy, where you don't want to touch it before you actually win it?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, for sure. I think playing hockey and playing golf, you know, I never have touched the trophy before I've won it.

So I was a little hesitant, but they were right at it so I figured it would be okay.

Q. Touching the money box, that's definitely a Stanley Cup trick, is it not?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think a little bit, yeah.

Q. My math isn't always the best, but I think if you factor in Rio, you've played something like 126 rounds this year, which sounds wildly absurd. Did you know in January that you were going to play that many times? Do you think long-term you can be somebody that's out here almost every single week?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, in January when the schedule first came out I definitely looked at it and realized it was very full and busy and hearing some of the other players and Commissioner Whan say it's a very full schedule, but I'm young. I saw it kind of as a challenge.

Like I said, I really enjoyed being able to travel all over the place and see new golf courses, meet new people. So it was fun for me.

In the future I'm not really sure what will happen. I think the 2017 schedule comes out this week.


BROOKE HENDERSON: Hopefully. So we'll be able to review it alongside my team and we'll make a decision.

Q. I was going to ask, I know it's not final yet, but obviously you know some of the places that you'll go. You'll be young next year, too. Do you anticipate it could be a similar sort of agenda, itinerary, for you in '17?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, possibly. I'm not sure right now. What I said all year is I kind of will judge how my body is feeling and my mind and how I'm playing. I think that will really result in what my schedule will look like.

Right now I guess it's just an open decision.

Q. Did you ever have a chance to meet ask get to know Dawn Coe-Jones?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, unfortunately I only met her once. But it was my first LPGA Tour event as a 14-year-old at the Canadian Open in Vancouver. She pulled up because she was doing some commentary that week, and she watched me hit a shot. It was pretty cool to see her reaction and everything like that, but I didn't get to meet her or spend a lot of time.

I know she was definitely a Canadian hero and had a very solid career on the LPGA Tour.

Q. Do you at times feel like the whole country is watching you?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, sometimes. I mean, the support back in Canada has been amazing. I've been able to make fans all over the world. In the U.S. I feel like my fan contingent is growing and getting really big.

Then I was over in Asia, same thing. I had a lot of fans in Taiwan, which I thought was really cool.

Just hopefully in the future just continue to grow.

THE MODERATOR: I know a win this week would be really special, especially because it comes with a Race to the CME Globe title. When you look back now on the entire season, lots of highlights, is there one thing that sticks out to you that will be the most memorable?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I think the Sunday at KPMG was definitely the highlight of my year. Shooting 6-under on Sunday of a major championship and getting into that playoff and playing well enough in it to win that event was just incredible.

I'm really excited for when I have a chance like that again, so hopefully that will be this Sunday.

THE MODERATOR: Hopefully we'll see a lot more. Thanks so much, Brooke. Best of luck this week, and hopefully we'll see you with a few extra dollars in your hand at the end of it.


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