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June 26, 2018

Brooke Henderson

Kildeer, Illinois

THE MODERATOR: We'll wrap our day up with our world No. 18, Brooke Henderson, winner of the 2016 KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club. Came back, shot a final round 65 to tie Lydia Ko and birdied the first playoff hole to win her first major title. She also finished second to Danielle in 2017, made another amazing comeback in the final round to nearly force a playoff. You have an amazing KPMG record. You've played this event three times and in your first appearance you tied for fifth. Tell us what it is about this tournament that seems to agree with you.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, just coming here, the atmosphere is always amazing. You look at the grandstands surrounding 18 and it gets you really excited. I got my first sponsor's invite here in 2015, and that really set up my whole career. Finishing fifth, it gave me a lot of confidence as a young player out on the LPGA Tour, and since then, to have a T5 as your worst finish and three times at a major championship is pretty cool. So hopefully this year I can continue that trend, keep positive energy going, and just kind of see what happens this weekend.

THE MODERATOR: You're coming off a rare off-week, and I say the word "off" in quotation marks because I know you played the CVS Charity Classic, had some other outings. This is your 16th event of the season, five top 10s, a win in Hawai'i. You play a lot. Is that still something that seems to work for you, the constant playing schedule?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I really like it, and last week was a little bit different. I didn't play in Arkansas, took a week off, was able to rest a couple days and went to the CVS Health Charity Classic the last two days, Sunday and Monday, and it was a lot of fun. Our partners, Keegan and Billy and I, were able to defend there, which was really cool, and it's just a little bit different, it's a little bit exciting to be able to play against the PGA TOUR, the Champions Tour and the best on the LPGA Tour, as well. It's always a fun challenge, and they do so much amazing work in New England there. It's pretty cool, and I think -- I love to play golf, and I love to play a lot of tournaments, and I think that it has definitely benefitted a lot of the rankings and a lot of things that I received over the last few years since I've been turning pro, just have continued to play and accumulate as many points and things as I can.

THE MODERATOR: What were your thoughts on the golf course? You had quite a powerful pro-am group this morning with Condoleezza Rice and the chairman of KPMG and Aramark. First off, what was that experience like playing with that firepower, and what are your thoughts on the golf course as we go into tournament week?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, you know, it was amazing showing up early this morning. I hadn't seen the golf course, and then to show up on the first tee and have Condoleezza standing there, Scott and Eric, it was really, really fun for us this morning. The golf course is incredible. It's beautiful. It is quite wet just with all the rain that we've received and even this morning more rain on top of that. But it's in really good condition, and I think it will set up for a very challenging and fun week for all of us.

Q. What are the challenges and what are the keys to this golf course?
BROOKE HENDERSON: One thing I noticed this morning is that when we were hitting it well, we gave ourselves a lot of birdie opportunities, but when we missed a shot here, then it just led to more and more trouble. I think you've just got to play really smart. There's a lot of different holes that it would be really beneficial to be on the right-hand side or the left-hand side, but just knowing where the best angles into the greens are to avoid bunkers, to avoid overhanging trees, you've just really got to play your way around it. You've got to hit certain shots and you've got to know where to hit it. I think if you're playing well and things are going well, then you're going to be able to shoot a solid round, but when things start to go south, I think it'll be challenging for everybody.

Q. I know you're early and you're just sort of getting your feet under you here on this layout, but knowing where the state of your game is right now, what do you think is most beneficial with the way that just your whole game sets up to this championship venue?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I think just this morning when I was playing through the holes, I felt like when I hit good tee shots and hit it on the proper side of the fairways and got it out there a long way, I felt like I had the best opportunity to make birdie from there, and giving myself shorter clubs and giving myself the best angle to attack the greens because the greens are uniquely shaped, a couple L-shaped, a couple like hourglass. So you've just got to know where everything is and just kind of pay attention the whole way throughout the whole round.

Q. I was sorry to hear about your grandfather, and I wondered if you could share with us a little bit how he supported your golf game and maybe some fond memories, some of your best memories with him.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, you know, it was really unfortunate how everything kind of went down. We're extremely sad to see him gone, but we know he's in a better place now, and that gives us peace and happiness that way.

He was really special to Brit and I and to our family. He wasn't a big-time golfer, but he played with his buddies every week, and he played with us when we were growing up. It was just one of those things that he loved nature, we loved nature. We'd go to hockey games together. Even when we were traveling on the road the last few years, we'd send texts back and forth throughout, just to keep in touch and keep that bond. He was just a special guy, and like I said, it's just sad to know he's gone, but again, we're happy that he's not suffering anymore, and we'll see him again someday.

THE MODERATOR: As we come into KPMG week, what do you think are some of the strengths of your game that will really fit this golf course out here, and what do you think you need to maybe practice a little more as you take to the golf course?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, you know, as I mentioned, I think tee shots will be really important here, ball-striking, being able to hit different shots when you need to. I think like any major championship, being a great short game player is really going to be important, especially on the weekend.

I've been switching around putters a little bit. I switched again. But I really like this one, and I used it yesterday, and it seemed to work pretty well. I have positive thoughts going into this week, and hopefully I can just follow my game plan as best you can in a major championship and then hopefully catch a couple breaks along the way.

Q. What's the magic new putter?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's similar to what I won my first LPGA Tour event with, just the newer version of the Craz-E, so I'm excited for it.

Q. How much is your length an advantage this week, especially given the fact that this golf course has gotten even more water?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I wasn't getting any roll on my drives today, so you're pretty much where you hit it, that was all carry. I think for the longer hitters and the ones that carry it a long way, it's definitely going to be really beneficial, even to get past some of the corners on par-4 doglegs. The par-5s, they're all three-shotters. I don't think anybody can really get home in two on any of them, so in that way length doesn't really matter, but on the long par-4s and even the par-3 are pretty long. There's one that was 196 that was playing into the wind today. So if you hit it a little bit longer, hopefully you can take a couple less clubs.

Q. How many times have you changed putters this year do you think?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Like four, five maybe.

Q. What is it that you're looking for? When do you know that you've found it? What are you looking for?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I know I just love looking down at a putter and feeling excited, and I think to do that, I kind of have to switch a lot. But when I won in Hawai'i, that putter worked great for a couple weeks, and then it wasn't working anymore, so I had to get rid of it. But I don't know, it's just a feel thing. Sometimes when you go through a slump or not as -- when it's not going as well as you would like, sometimes you just need that kind of fresh new look and that kind of great feeling that you get with a new putter, so that's pretty much all I'm looking for.

Q. I know you've switched putters in the past, but does this seem more than normal?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, probably 2017 and the start of this year have been the most switches I've made.

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