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January 14, 2020

Brooke Henderson

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back. We are here with Brooke Henderson, nine-time LPGA Tour winner, tied for sixth last year at the inaugural Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. I just want to look back a year ago -- first of all, welcome back. Happy new year.

This time last year we were here for the first Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. What was that event like? And now a year later, what are you most looking forward to this week? Mike Wan likes to call it the biggest party on tour.

BROOKE HENDERSON: This year is really awesome. It's a lot of fun. Between the concerts and parties and getting to play with celebrities, it's just a really cool, unique experience. I was fortunate enough to play in it for two years when it was the Champions Tour event as well. I always loved coming back here. I had a great finish last year. It was a great start to my season. Hopefully, I can do something similar this week.

Q. You're going to be starting off with defending celebrity champion John Smoltz and Josh Donaldson as well. What's it like stepping up to the tee box with two guys who can just crank it up there? You can too, but just everything you see out there that you don't normally see at your everyday LPGA event.
BROOKE HENDERSON: For sure, it's such a unique opportunity to play with some of the best athletes in the world. They were so dominant in their sport -- and Josh still is. It's really cool to see how they can transfer it to the game of golf. It's fun to play with them. I'll try to hit it just as far. I'll be a little short, but I'll try to crank it out there too. You know, just to make birdies with them and have some fun.

Josh -- I was able to play with him my first year here when he was playing for the Blue Jays. So that was really fun for me. John, I've met a couple times. So I'm really looking forward to Thursday.

Q. We come here after several off weeks. Last time we saw you was CME Group Tour Championship. Took a nice holiday break. What did you do to recharge over the break, and now how do you feel as you come here to the Four Seasons?
BROOKE HENDERSON: After Naples, I actually stayed right there for about a month, I guess, just really enjoyed the warm weather. Then we went home to Canada, both my sister and I, for around two weeks, saw tons of family and friends. It was like minus 30 for a couple days when we went home, and then lots of snow. It was definitely a unique experience, but it was fun.

I'm just excited to be back here in the warmth, excited to get ready for 2020. I think it's going to be a good year hopefully, and I'm just ready to get it started.

Q. We get it started, and we quickly start moving toward the big goal later in the year, which is the 2020 Olympic team. You played well in Rio, tied for seventh in 2016. I'm sure Olympics has to be big on your mind as you look to 2020?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, 2016 was a lot of fun for Alena and I to go and represent Canada. To be with the best athletes in the world and watching them compete and train and stay in the Olympic Village with them was really cool. I think this year I'm excited for all 34 events on the LPGA Tour, and the Olympics is just another one. It will definitely be fun to go and represent Canada again.

Q. When you sat down at the end of the season, or maybe the beginning of this year with your dad, is there anything that you guys focused on looking at stats where you felt you could improve to kind of inch closer to the No. 1?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I feel like 2019 was a really successful season for me and my sister as well. We were really happy with how everything went. I felt like I improved in a lot of places, which was good. I think a key thing for me is scoring average and keeping it below 70, which I did last year. Again, this year that's another big goal. I feel like, if I can do that, I'll put myself in contention and hopefully win twice and keep my record alive since 2016, I guess, which would be really fun.

I think consistency and just trying to keep things the way they are and just slowly improve and get a little bit better all the time.

Q. If you could maybe expand on some areas that you felt you improved on last year that you were really focused on.
BROOKE HENDERSON: I feel like I was just really consistent. Driving distance was right up there again. Greens in reg maybe wasn't quite as good as it was in the past, but it was still close. I think it was in the top 15 maybe. Just putting and my short game, I felt a lot more comfortable with, a lot more confident. I think I maybe improved a little bit in those stats, but just the overall feeling that I had, I felt like I've gotten a lot better, which is great. Just trying to continue that into 2020.

Q. You talked about wanting to be No. 1. How do you compartmentalize that in your mind so that you win a lot, you're very successful, so that you don't get frustrated by not being able to crack that? How do you think about it?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Number 1, obviously, would be amazing. I feel like the way the rankings are set up right now, the way they work is a little bit complicated. If I play a lot of events, which I do. I like to play all the time. I feel like, as long as I'm inside the top ten and maybe inching closer to the top five, I'm really happy with that. I feel like, when you're in that position, you're playing really consistent golf and winning, which is fun.

I think to be in the No. 1 spot I'd have to change my schedule a little bit, but for the most part, I'm just trying to get a little bit better all the time, and if my ranking improves, I'm happy.

Q. Then just a follow-up. Last year, could you compare maybe the early rounds where there's kind of the fun of this kind of event, where once you're in contention at the end, maybe how that changes, and do you sense that from even your playing partners when you're in it with a chance to win?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, this week it is a big party, as everyone has been talking about. It's fun to be with the celebrities and watch them hit it around. Maybe Thursday, Friday, yeah, it is a little bit more casual in the sense that you're having fun and making birdies and maybe not thinking about it quite as much, but then once the weekend comes around, it is an official LPGA Tour event, and you want to get that win. If you're in contention, I'd think you would bear down maybe a little bit more.

At the same time, it's just the whole experience, and I feel like playing with some of the best athletes in the world here, you're just always pushing each other to be a little bit better and trying to hit a little bit further and make a few more birdies. It's really a unique experience as it's maybe not as intense right off the get go, as it is on the regular LPGA Tour week, but definitely it has that same intensity once you get going, and it has maybe a little bit of fun added to it.

Q. Is there anybody in the celebrity field that you're excited to meet for the first time or that you've met and you're excited to see again? Is there a question that you have asked or too shy to ask?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think it's just fun to see everybody around. A lot of familiar faces from playing, I guess this is my fourth year. I'm really excited to play with John Smoltz and Josh Donaldson come Thursday, great people and great players as well. So I feel like everything's just -- it's just fun and unique. I'm not really -- I mean, everybody I meet, I'm really happy and excited. I don't think there's anyone really that I'll seek out too much, but it's just a great atmosphere and a great experience.

Q. Living now in Florida or having your second home in Florida, how much does that feel like a second home? And the grasses are so different here from what you grew up on. Was there a transition to that, and are you getting more comfortable with it?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I love living in southwest Florida. It's great. It definitely prepares me a lot better for the upcoming seasons, to be able to spend off-seasons there is great. It's a lot more relaxing being in the sun than in the freezing cold, and also just being able to practice a lot more effectively is really good.

I feel like, in terms of the grasses, I feel like I have sort of the best of both worlds because, when I go to northern U.S., it's very similar to the way I grew up at home in Canada, and then when I come to tournaments down here, I'm now used to the grasses down here as well. So I feel like it's really added a lot to my game being able to compete comfortably on different types of grasses around the world, and I feel like having a home up north and down south has really been beneficial to that.

THE MODERATOR: I'll close with one question. You mentioned it, you're on a streak of four straight years with at least two wins. You've done so much in your career. What's next on your to do list? It could be something fun, something on the course. What's next for you as a person?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I'd love to keep that streak alive. It's been pretty important to me the last few years, especially with how dense the field is in terms of talent. It's really important to me to keep that going, and I feel like to get another Major Championship win is hopefully on my radar, and hopefully I can get it done maybe this year and in future years.

THE MODERATOR: Good luck this week, enjoy, and we'll see you on the 1st tee.

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