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June 18, 2019

Brooke Henderson

Chaska, Minnesota

THE MODERATOR: We are back with Brooke Henderson, nine time LPGA Tour champion, including the 2016 KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

Brooke has one twice in 2019, defended her title at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii and last week, two days ago won the Meijer LPGA Classic and became the winningest Canadian golfer in the history of the LPGA Tour.

You were ecstatic on the final green at Meijer. What does it feel like to know you're only 21 and you are already the winningest Canadian golfer?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Just an incredible feeling. There's been so many talented players come before me from Canada. Get my 8th win to tie the record in the spring was so meaningful, meant a lot.

I was hoping my 9th win would sort of come quickly so I wouldn't have that kind of hanging over me. I'm happy to break through the record and just to be a part of history is pretty sweet.

THE MODERATOR: Anyone who watches social media has seen some of it but tell me about the reaction and the reception from home in Canada, Tweet from the Prime Minister and several other things we've seen. Talk to us about that.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah. It's so special to have that support from back home and really support from all over the globe after winning that. People really reached out and been so kind and I'm just really happy to have that 9th win.

I think it's so cool to keep the streak alive of two wins a year since 2016. The Tour is so strong and so many talented players. That's really meaningful as well. Hopefully I can put myself in contention the rest of the summer and see if I can do it again.

THE MODERATOR: So you come off an event you won twice and now you come to the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. You're playing here for the fifth time. You have four Top 6 finishes.

That's interesting because they're at four different courses. It's not like you're going back to the same course.

What do you think it is about this event that really seems to suit you?

BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, I love KPMG here. The atmosphere is always so amazing KPMG -- we've been treated so well on amazing golf courses. Been so fun to be able to come on it here and play.

I got a sponsor's invite in 2015, that that was my first championship. Got a T-5 there. I was really excited to come back in 2016 where I won and ever since then I come back and I see my picture holding the trophy. Gives me so many great feelings and so many great memories. Kind of flashback. It's definitely a really meaningful championship to me and love to hoist that trophy again.

THE MODERATOR: You had 18 holes out there. Perhaps not as familiar with it since the LPGA hasn't been there before. What are your thoughts on this golf course and how it sets up for this Major Championship?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah. You know, I think like any Major Championship, it's going to test everything that you've got mentally and physically, shot making, everything, especially around here.

I think ball-striking is going to be key. Hit a lot of fairways. It's playing long out there as well. Hit a lot of fairways and greens and try to be really precise with hitting it on the greens. Pretty small but don't want to be putting up too many ridges.

Played with Michael Collins and he was telling me what they did in the Ryder Cup on that hole. Kind of cool to kind of hear the stories and see how they did it.

THE MODERATOR: If you played with him, you're having a good time.


THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. What are your big goals these days? What's the biggest goal that you have?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, up until last week it was getting that 9th win and kind of keeping my record going of two wins a season, and now I'm just -- I feel like some of the pressure is off maybe a little bit and I'm just looking forward to the rest of the summer, hopefully putting myself in contention a lot on the weekends and see if I can get the job done.

Q. Do you think there's anything in the way the PGA sets up the golf course that you enjoy because it's a different venue every year? Is there something to that or just the types of venues that they are?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think coming in here I'm always so excited because the venues are so historic and so many great memories from them from other events. They're amazing golf courses.

I think sort of the excitement level leads into that as well as they always play long and I think being -- not the longest hitter by far but one of the longest hitters on the Tour, that can kind of be an advantage, and especially if I'm hitting it straight.

Q. Did you watch the Ryder Cup here?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I definitely watched it. I don't have as great a memory as Michael does. I remember a couple of shots as well.

Q. Minnesota is just about as close as you can get to Canada. Is there any sort of home field advantage or familiarity you feel with this Major being so close to home?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah. I think growing up in Canada and any part in the northern part of the United States, the golf courses have a similar feel, similar types of grasses, usually tree-lined.

So I feel like that kind of leads into my familiarity to when I was growing up back home.

Q. Brooke, I'm just curious, you talked about it on the 18th green after you won last week, the interviewer asked you a question about your dad being your only teacher.
What do you think is the most important thing he has instilled in you and your sister that has -- that you could attribute to your success?

BROOKE HENDERSON: That's a really good question. I mean I think just growing up you from such a young age he was always there listening to us but also kind of trying to make us the best people that we could be and also the better golfers.

He always said if you work really hard going into something and trying your best when you're in that championship that's all you can really do. He actually defined that as success.

So, when you think of it that way, kind of takes a lot of pressure off you and, you know, if you're working really hard and then you try your best and do everything you can those four days and at the end of the day it doesn't work out you kind of move on, learn from it and hopefully better next time.

I think just knowing that he's always there supporting us and pushing us to be the best that we can be but also understands that golf is such a crazy game and that even though you might do everything right, sometimes things don't work out. I think kind of knowing that he's patient like that and understands how hard the game is.

Q. The theme of this week has been Inspire Greatness and recognizing the women in your life that have inspired you.
Can you talk about someone in particular who has inspired you both on and off the course?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, sure. It's pretty easy growing up, I looked up to my sister so much and always wanted to follow in her footsteps. She made the National Team at 14 and I did the exact same thing when I was 14 in Canada.

She went on to get a scholarship in the United States and I was looking at a bunch of schools before I decided to turn pro. I was always trying to be exactly like her, trying to out drive her, which I think is what led to sort of my crazy swing and maybe some of the power that comes from behind it, but she's just been a huge role model for me and still is right now. It's really special for us to be able to share this journey out here together.

Q. I was just wondering if you could talk a little bit how you manage your energy coming into this event, obviously so exciting but a huge amount of energy to like win and break a record.
How do you come into this making sure that you're feeling ready?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah. It definitely takes a lot out of you when you're in contention and in the final groups, you know, especially when you're trying to get it across the line, maybe takes a little bit more out of you mentally than it does every other week.

I think over the tonight and tomorrow get as much rest as I can and to try to mentally prepare for this week. It can be short of mentally exhausting, if you will, but hopefully I can just recoup pretty fast and get ready for a Major Championship.

Q. When were you growing up, who was your biggest Canadian sports hero?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think you know being in golf, Lorie Kane was huge. She was winning quite a bit, always seemed to be in contention, always trying to push the bar.

Now being part of the family with her is special. When I started playing in LPGA Tour events she reached out and she would text me or call me. She was a huge role model for all Canadian golfers. It was pretty cool to be that close to her.

Q. Having watched you play last week at Meijer, first couple of rounds seemed very easy. Last couple of rounds a little tougher.
Was it the fact that you knew that you were going to break the record to become the best golfer to ever come out of Canada and you would have a chance to do that on Father's Day, was that the tough thing for you?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I think definitely was in the back of my mind but I just feel like the first two days everything was really easy. I was hitting a lot of fairways and greens. Every putt seemed to be looking like it was going in. I actually thought I could have shot better than minus 8 both days.

I think going into the weekend maybe I did feel it a little bit but I was just trying to go and repeat what I did the first few days and I think it was really hard to back up.

But, you know, I still hit the ball well and maybe just putts weren't going in as easily as they were the first two days. But I'm happy I was able to get the job done and get it across the line.

Q. You're climbing back up the rankings quickly again. When you look at your game, what do you work on as far as trying to maybe cut the difference between yourself and a No. 1 player in?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think it always comes down to short game and I worked really hard on my wedges, especially the last two seasons, and I feel like I've made really big improvements there.

I feel a lot more comfortable when I have those shots inside a hundred yards and knowing that I can make birdie really easily or hit it close and save par. I think that really gives me a lot of confidence, momentum knowing that I can do that now, little bit easier than I could before.

I think a big thing, if I was ever to get to the No. 1 spot, it would a lot to do with the putting and I'm working with my sister and dad on that pretty much every single week to try to be a better green reader and maybe make my stroke a little bit more consistent.

Q. The last time a big event was here the Ryder Cup three years ago. Justin Rose complained it was too easy.
Do you think anyone will be saying that on Sunday and given the way the PGA sets this up, how difficult of a task is it for this event?

BROOKE HENDERSON: The PGA always sets it up really tough. I don't think anybody will be saying that come Sunday. It all depends on the conditions as well. I feel like it could get pretty windy around here.

If the wind picks up, the scores will be higher, especially on the tricky holes. Could go down 16 with all the water. The wind is swirling, it could be difficult.

I also feel if you hit good shots you can be rewarded around here. It's also you're going to have to play smart and I think if you aren't hitting good shots you could definitely run into a lot of trouble. Hopefully everything goings well on Thursday.

THE MODERATOR: Brooke will be off No. 10 at 8:57 with Pernilla Lindberg and Charley Hull. Good luck out there.

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