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April 23, 2019

Brooke Henderson

Los Angeles, California

THE MODERATOR: We're here with world No. 7, Brooke Henderson, who's fresh off a title defense at the Lotte Championship last week. What is it about Ko Olina that seems to suit you?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Actually, when I played my practice round early last week I was just going around the course and I could see why I really play well there. Just felt like every hole kind of suited my eye. I think some of the holes like No. 11, 15, and 17, where I can kind of cut some corners with my tee shots and stuff kind of gives me a little bit of an advantage. That's really fun for me.

Kind of an exciting golf course. And par-5s, a lot of them are reachable, too, so make a lot of birdies. I feel like a lot of my wins have also come when the weather is a little bit off, and it's always extremely windy out there. So it just kind of maybe goes in my direction a little bit more.

I'm really happy to be able to defend there and to get my eighth win on tour.

THE MODERATOR: I don't know if I should tell you this, but we're looking at perfect weather this week. Literally the weatherman said bright and sunny and 75; no rain all week. I'm sorry to break that to you.

BROOKE HENDERSON: (Laughter.) No, that's good, too.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take it. So tell us your thoughts here on Wilshire coming in for the second years here. Have you been out on the course at all yet this week?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yep. Played nine this morning. Course is in great shape, which is always really nice. It wasn't as windy here today as it was last year, I remember, so that was kind of nice, too.

Just trying to get a good strategy for this course working with Brit, and hopefully we can hit solid shots in the right areas and give ourselves some good looks for birdies.

THE MODERATOR: Before I open it up, you tied a pretty illustrious list of winning Canadians last week. Certainly you're a historian of the game. What does that honor mean to you? You're up there on the LPGA side, but the winningest Canadian golfer ever.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's really amazing with Sandra, Mike, George, all amazing players and legends in Canada. To be able to tie that list of winning No. 8 is pretty special. Just happy to be able to join them.


Q. Is this a course you can attack with a driver?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's not as much of an attacking course. Going to have to lay up a couple times and just play smart and patient. Patience is definitely huge key around this golf course.

There is a lot of different slopes and undulations on the greens and things. Not as attacking as maybe I would like, but hopefully I can just have my ball striking working and get myself some good looks.

Q. You said it was fun at Ko Olina to be able to cut doglegs and go after it that way. Is that important to you, to play a way you find to be fun?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I think so. I mean, being aggressive when I'm playing well is a lot of fun for me. Making a lot of birdies, just hitting shots that not a lot of other players hit, too, being able to cut those corners.

You just kind of have to go with what the course gives you. This week will be a little more difficult to do that.

Q. Can we talk a little bit more about Brittany and your relationship with her on the course. Have there been times when the fact that she's your sister played a role in what you've done on the course?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, absolutely. Having her as my sister is a huge benefit because I can really say whatever and she's good with it. You know, I feel like we know each other so well that she's able to kind of sense when things are bothering me and also when things are going well.

She knows exactly what say to help or get me back to where I need to be, which is great. I mean, I wouldn't want to do this journey on the LPGA Tour with anybody else. It's a lot of fun for us to be able to travel together, experience different cultures, different food, different areas of the globe all together while playing a game that we both love against best in the world.

It's really a win-win for us.

Q. Can you think of a moment during any tournament when -- a specific time when that relationship -- when she said something that if this had been just more of a professional relationship that it might not have happened? Any moments like that that you can recall?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, actually. I just watched a clip on Twitter of us talking on 18. I was talking about going way right to avoid the water, ans she just turned to me and said, And why would you do that? I feel like not everybody could have said that to me at that point.

I took her advice and I hit a great shot, so it really worked out.

Q. So there have to be times, /because just the caddie/player relationship is such a close relationship to begin with, that you're going to come to a shot and she's going to think one thing and you're going to think another. I'm guessing that when it comes down to a vote, you have 51% and she has 49. Have there been moments she has suggested something and you've gone with your instinct and it hasn't been the right move?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, for sure. It's going to happen. I feel like the bottom line is we kind of worked out that I'm the player and I have to be happy with what I'm doing. She can suggest and give me all the facts, all the numbers, and all the different options, and maybe suggest the one she's more strongly thinking, but at the end of the day it's my decision.

I have to be confident and comfortable with the decision. Sometimes it works out; other times it doesn't. But we just try to make the smartest and what we think is the best decision. Usually we agree on that. Sometimes I do go my own way. When it does work out, it's, See, I told you so. Other times it's like I just kind of keep quiet.

Q. Can you leave the game on the course when you guys are together afterward? How does that play out?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah. I mean, I think that's a balance every golfer kind of struggles with, is if they take to home with them or not after a good or bad day. I think for us, we're always trying to improve and be a little bit better the next day, so we like to talk about the round and things that went well and things that didn't and how we can improve even the next day, the next week, or the next year on the same golf course.

So we're usually talking about it. I mean, we get over if we have any arguments or disagreements. We get over to really fast. I think that's why our relationship is so successful.

Q. My question is one thing that's been in social media is your -inch driver. Who suggested it to you? Why do you use it? Do you not expect to be wild with a 48-inch driver?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I always was pretty straight off the tee when I was growing up. I was looking for a little bit more distance. My dad actually had an 51-inch driver he used for long-drive competitions when he was younger. When I was, I don't know, still an amateur, in my teens, maybe 15, I started just practicing with it.

I really liked it, but knowing the legal limit was 48 we went back to 48. I've been using it for quite a few years now. I just really like it. I feel like the consistency hasn't really been affected at all.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
BROOKE HENDERSON: I'm not sure because I was also growing and getting stronger and everything. But, I mean, it was considerable enough that I wanted to make the change.

Q. And you don't have any misses left? Right? If you have a miss, which one is it?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think everybody has a little bit of a miss. Generally I'm confident with my driver. I like to hit a draw with it just to get a little bit more distance.

Q. You can pull off a draw out here?

Q. Wow. That's sweet. Good luck?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Thanks. (Laughter.)

Q. Was the choke down there from the beginning or was that something that evolved over time?
BROOKE HENDERSON: No. Since I was like three or four years old just kind of learning the game always choked up. I actually tried to change a few years ago; just not comfortable.

I mean, it's been working so I just kind of decided to keep it.

THE MODERATOR: What are your goals for the season? You've already got a win under your belt so far.

BROOKE HENDERSON: I would love to keep the streak going since 2016, two wins a season. That's really cool. I think it's definitely reachable. A lot of tournaments left this year, a lot of tournaments that I really love going to and look forward to.

Definitely trying to get that second win, if not more. Definitely that second one. I think to do that, scoring average is really my main focus. Last year it was under 70; it was 69 point something. I think if you can get it under 70 again this year I'll be putting myself in good positions and hopefully in a lot of final groups.

Q. Do you think your style of play is something that's evolving? I remember at Sahalee you attacked that golf course with a driver when nobody else was hitting driver. Is that a function of that's what makes you happy?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think so. I mean, I try to be smart-aggressive, but when I know I can hit a shot I want to hit it. I don't want to have to lay up or anything like that.

I feel like it's changing a little bit as I get to know the courses a little bit better too. I'm a little bit wiser on what holes I can attack and other ones where par is good and lay up.

But for the most part, I like to be aggressive and I like to make a lot of birdies.

Q. Only one I seen hit driver off the deck.

Q. Do you see that on this course? Are there spots where you think you can hit driver off the deck, or is it not --
BROOKE HENDERSON: Only one I can really think of right now is 13, the par-5. But I might not even need it to get there in two. I'm not sure.

There is not a lot of opportunity out here for that. It's more you just kind of have to hit good shots to certain places and kind of just be patient and take what you get.

Q. Is your dad your coach?

Q. Always? You never had another coach?
BROOKE HENDERSON: No. He's been my main coach since I was like a three or four year old girl. I also worked with Canada's National Team, too. That was a big part of growing up. Dad has always been No. 1.

Q. What's the most important part of your game to beat the 70 average for the year?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think just keeping my long game as consistent as it is. But I think to win on tour and to get top finishes all the time, short game has to be working. Every win that I've had or top finish it's when my putter is working well or I'm able to get up and down from spots that maybe I shouldn't get up and down from.

But I feel like, long game, keep it consistent, and just slowly improve on the short game.

Q. Are your parents here this week?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Not this week, no, but they do come out to half the events, so it's nice.

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