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August 20, 2019

Brooke Henderson

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we're here with the lady of the hour Brooke Henderson, playing in her eighth. CP Women's Open, of course defending champion after her win last year in Regina in 2018.

So far this year in 2019 Brooke has two wins, defending her title at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii, and then her win at Meijer LPGA Classic where she became the winningest Canadian pro golfer in the history of the LPGA and PGA Tours.

Brooke, you have been so giving of your time for this tournament. Thank you so much. I know you were here a couple months ago for the media day. You had the opportunity to catch up with a lot of people.

Now we're here; the title defense is on. How do you feel as you come to Magna?

BROOKE HENDERSON: You know it's amazing. I played nine holes yesterday and nine this morning and the course is in incredible condition. I think it's going to be a lot of fun for all of us girls to go out there and probably try to make a lot birdies and shoot low scores.

It's in incredible condition. I was walking around with the head pro here and he was trying to give me some tips and hints around the way. Hopefully those will prove very useful in the in next couple days.

THE MODERATOR: What has the last year been like? Certainly the win here, your national championship, certainly another major for you. Then winning at Meijer to become the winningest Canadian player. Has to be quite a surreal year. And then to come here and see your face everywhere.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's pretty cool. Before I got on the LPGA Tour I just wanted to become a member. I wanted to win, and then now just few years later I have nine wins, which is pretty incredible.

To have won the CP Women's Open last year is probably the highlight of my career so far. Just being with all the great fans from the nation and just having so much attention on me and then still being able to perform as well as I did and execute those shots under pressure was really exciting for me.

I feel like it gave me a lot confidence and a lot of momentum, and I'm just really excited to come back here as the defending champion. I am looking forward to hearing that on the first tee in a couple days.

Being back in Ontario I'll have a lot more family and friends come out and watch, which I think will be really fun. Just looking forward to the opportunity.

THE MODERATOR: Go ahead and open it up for any questions. Raise your hand. We'll bring a microphone.

Q. You have taken a couple weeks off now. How many times have you taken two weeks off?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Not very often. One was a natural week off, which was really nice, and the other one was I chose not to play the Scottish Open. So to have two weeks off in the middle of the summer is pretty rare, but it was well-deserved. I had a strong go this summer and I was looking forward to some rest, down time, to kind of recoup.

And then last week I tried to practice as much as I could to get my game back in good position. I feel like I did that pretty well.

Q. You've defended in the past. You defended Portland. Defended Lotte. Did you get anything from those experiences coming in here, do you think?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah. To be able to win on the LPGA Tour once is really cool. To come back next year and defend your title is really special I think and pretty unique. It doesn't happen very often with these courses.

I felt like I had a great game plan and I felt very confident; whereas this tournament we have moved around the courses ever single year, so that is a little bit different feeling coming into this week.

But I think you still carry over a lot of positive energy and momentum from last year. Like I mentioned, having maybe more family and friends around gives that you little extra boost, maybe more adrenaline. Hopefully I can put that to good use and make some birdies.

Q. Speaking of momentum, I notice you put out a tweet to Bianca Andreescu when she won Rogers Cup. Is that any incentive for to you watch a girl like that doing so well? Do you feed off one another?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, you know, I don't play tennis, at least not very well, but it was so inspiring and motivating watching her play, seeing some of her highlights. It was super cool. To watch another Canadian win on Canadian soil is very special.

She's so athletic and so powerful. I feel like not only inspiration for me, but a ton of people across this country and a cross the world. That's pretty incredible. I think watching her do it just a couple weeks ago, so close to this event, you know, gives me a little bit extra motivation to try to play well this week.

Q. You've had a great season again this year. Two wins, some Top 10s. In the majors it's been a bit of a struggle. At least your performance seemed to be a bit of a struggle. Is there any reason or anything you can pinpoint?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, the majors I played the weekend in all of them, which is what you want to do. I just didn't have that one key round. I felt like I was close in all of them. If I had that one round at 5-under or better then I would've been right in there in the weekend.

Just kind of missing that one special round. I think learning from those experiences this year is just to be a little bit more patient. I was maybe trying to push a little too hard when I realized that I wasn't in the top 10 or 20. I was pushing, and I feel like you have to be patient and let things come to you in major championships a little bit.

Hit good shots, and hopefully the birdies will fall.

Q. Second question: This is the first year the LPGA has had back-to-back majors. What did you or the other players think about having the majors back to back in following weeks?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, you know, it was very unique. I feel like it required a lot of rest maybe leading into it. It does tire you out a little bit just because there is so much maybe not pressure is the right word, but you really want to peak for major championships. So when you're trying to peak two weeks in a row, which is very difficult to do. Some players, like Jin Young Ko, she did that. She won one week and I think she finished in the Top 5 the next week. So that was really impressive.

For me, I thought it was good because you went over to Europe and got on the right time schedule; time change wasn't a factor the second week. You got used to the food a little bit more and things like that.

For me it was fine. Obviously, as you mentioned before, I would've liked to have a little better finishes over there, but I think it was kind of rare to have a schedule like that this year. I don't really think you'll see that too much in the future.

Q. You talked about the golf course being in really good condition. What is it that maybe you think you need to do to score well on this golf course, and do you think it fits your game?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, you know, I think ball striking will be pretty key here. The fairways are pretty generous and the greens are very large. I think if you can be really precise on approaches with your ball striking you'll hit it to the right slopes, right quadrants on the green. That'll be really important to give yourself a good look at birdie.

I mean, as I mentioned, it's in amazing shape. It's going to be a lot of fun. I do think if the conditions stay as they are right now there will be some low scores. I think that will be fun for fans as well.

Q. You're coming in as the winningest Canadian of all-time; playing for the first time since that in front of a Canadian crowd. What's that extra feeling like now for you?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think the to win the CP Women's Open last year was incredible. Do I think I'm going to do it again this year? I'm going to give it all I have, my best shot. I think it'll be extremely hard to repeat. It's just facts, I think.

Like I said, I'm going to give it my all, see what I can do, and hopefully post a solid round on Thursday and give the fans something to cheer about.

Q. A lot of people tweeted and sent you messages after you won. A lot famous Canadians. Anyone in particular?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Every time I win or do something great I'm really surprised at the people that reach out. Sometimes you're wondering if people are really paying attention to you, and then you receive tweets from the Prime Minister, Wayne Gretzky, Anne Murray, iconic Canadian people.

It gives you chills sometimes. Why are these people reaching out to me? It's kind of surreal. Every time my fan base grows in Canada it's also around the world, which is pretty cool.

Q. Just wondering if you have any insight or comments on 12 year old Michelle Liu. I think you met her for the first time this week. Of course you have a pretty good track record as a teenager yourself. If you had a conversation with her, did you have any advice for her or anything you passed on? I know you're one of her idols.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I met her on the range I guess yesterday morning. She seems very nice. Very sweet girl. It's pretty cool that she got an invite to play here. I played my first event when I was 14 and it was life changing. I learned so many great experiences from it. Met a lot of pros, which was pretty cool. I was pretty star struck. I think maybe if she can get past that and just try to play her game that would be best.

Q. You had this sort of everyone knows the story. A little self-taught, mismatched clubs, a feel player. You've been on the tour a few years now. Do you still consider yourself a feel player, or do you feel the pressure for traditional teaching techniques?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I would definitely still say I'm a feel player. My sister who caddies for me is -- and my dad, my coach, are very strategic. My sister studies the green books and yardages all night. She's out on the course right now just taking notes.

She's more of the technical strategy things like that. I'm sort of the just give me a number and then I'll feel my way around the course. I feel like it's a great balance and probably why we work so well together. We bring two different aspects of the game and put them together. So far over the last four years I guess it's been successful and we've had a lot of fun.

THE MODERATOR: Anything further for Brooke?

Q. When you look back at your first appearance at CP Women's Open when you were 14, is there one memory that sticks out? If you could, what advice would you give your 14 year old self now?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, I got to play with a Alena Sharp, who is one of my best friends now, the first two rounds. That was a lot of fun for me. She was very kind back then as she is now. I hit one shot on a par-4, and I forget where. I think No. 15 -- maybe 16 -- at Vancouver Golf Club. There is sort of a tree that hangs out over the green. I hit a cut around the tree. Hit it to the middle of the green.

She just came over and said, Wow, really nice shot. So that's cool. Pros are seeing the shot making I'm doing and really respecting it, which was fun for me. I think playing with her was really eye opening for me and it was a lot of fun. I think that's kind of where a friendship began even a long time ago.

Another amazing thing that happened is I met Lorie Kane in the clubhouse. She came up and introduced herself. I was like, Wow, she knows who I am. It was awesome.

So just moments like that. And just walking around the clubhouse with the best players in the world when you're 14 years old, trying not to ask for autographs, I think was probably the hardest thing. I played decent; I didn't make the cut. I had two solid rounds. I think it just gave me so much experience that I've learned from since then.

Q. How many different putters have been in the bag for you this year?
BROOKE HENDERSON: This year? Only two.

Q. Only two?

Q. Have you switched them back and forth?
BROOKE HENDERSON: No. I used one from the beginning of the year until May, and then I've used that one until now.

Q. What do you think of the size of greens out here?
BROOKE HENDERSON: They're very large. I think as I've said, I think ball striking will be pretty key. Just making sure -- because the greens are very large, just pick a small target and be precise on that. I think it would easy to have some long putts around here, and I don't think you really want that with the slopes and some other things happening. There are a lot of false fronts as well.

So just being really careful and precise and make sure you're landing over those and giving yourself good looks at birdies.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else for Brooke? Well, thanks so much. Enjoy the week. Get some rest.


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