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January 17, 2020

Brooke Henderson

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Q. Brooke, much different golf course today than yesterday. How would you describe the challenge of trying to post a score?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I was sort of fortunate going out early. The wind wasn't really there until the 7th hole. That was the key. Once it started to pick up, it was a really different golf course. Just tried to play smart, hit the right side of the greens and give myself some birdie looks. I got really fortunate there with the long putt on 16 and then the short eagle on 17, which was pretty fun. 18 has kind of bit me twice, so hopefully, I'll get it this weekend.

Q. You're such an explosive player. Take us through that eagle on 17. What was your mindset as you stood over that approach shot?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Off the tee, I knew it was downwind, so I knew it was a good opportunity to hit it in two, like I did yesterday. Then in the back, I knew as long as I carried the front, it would probably run right up there. To have it that close is definitely a bonus, but I'll take it.

Q. 22 years of age, nine-time winner on the LPGA Tour, there are maple leafs wherever you play golf. How do you handle being such a popular player in your native Canada?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I love the support I receive from home and really all around the world. It's cool to have fans supporting me and cheering me on. Today was a lot of fun. I had a lot of fans out there, and they like to see those birdies and Eagles, so hopefully I'll keep it going.

Q. Brooke, on a day when scoring is at a premium, you managed to post a nice low number. Take me through how you got there.
BROOKE HENDERSON: It was really nice going out early today. The first like six holes didn't have much wind to contend with, which was really a bonus. Then once it started to pick up, I guess around the 7th hole, Britt and I did a really good job of just counting in all the factors and trying to hit smart shots and give ourselves some birdie looks, and I was able to do that.

To finish 16 and 17 the way I did was really awesome. 18 was definitely disappointing, but hopefully I'll get it this weekend.

Q. 17 is the Aon Risk Reward hole this week. You start off with a birdie, eagle combo the first two days. How important will that be this year for you?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Last year, as sort of watching the rankings go up and down a little bit, especially near the end, and I think I finished maybe in the top ten last year, so definitely hoping to move up from that a little bit on that this year. On par 5s, I'm always trying to make good numbers and make good scores. So that's definitely a good way to start out. Hopefully, I can keep doing things like that all year.

Q. You have that competitive bone in your body, obviously, just like everybody out here, maybe a little extra, to start off the year and get off to a strong start. How about your preparation just leading into this event to enjoy the celebrity focus but also compete?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, for sure. I was trying to come in this week ready to compete against the best in the world, the LPGA players and then also some of the best athletes out here today. It's just so much fun with the celebrities, just being in the atmosphere, asking questions, just talking to them. It's a little bit more of a relaxed week in a way. You're talking a little bit more and just enjoying the crowds. But definitely was coming in here trying to compete, so I'm excited I'm in contention coming into the weekend.

Q. You hit another bogey on 18 again today. How quickly do you want to get rid of that taste going into the weekend?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, for sure. That's not the way I wanted to end today, but it's a tough hole. Hopefully this weekend, I can make two pars or maybe even birdie it.

Q. You're at 9 under going into the weekend. What do you need to do to pick this up and kick off a winning season?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think just continue what I've been doing the last two days -- hitting the ball well, hitting smart shots, and hopefully making a lot of putts. There's still a lot of golf to be played. There's a lot of great players out there. It's exciting to be in contention, especially this early in the season. It's fun to get that adrenaline rolling again.

Q. Is this any difference for you in an event like this rather than the usual?
BROOKE HENDERSON: This is fun. Having a limited number of girls out here is kind of a bonus. You can go out and shoot good numbers. You know you're going to be competing against some of the best, but if you can get four rounds together, you can climb up that leaderboard pretty quick. Then just with the celebrities, they hit it so well, and it's just fun to watch.

Q. Can you take us through your second shot on 17.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, sure. It was pretty downwind. I was kind of contemplating between 7 wood and 3 wood. At the last second, it sort of switched to maybe a little bit more crosswinds, so we pulled the 3 wood, and I'm really glad I did. I hit it, and I thought I hit it pretty well. Britt was telling it to sit down, so I'm not sure where it hit on the green there, but it was nice to walk up and have that short putt for eagle.

Q. How far did you hit it?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Good question. I think I had 230 to the pin, so 200 to the front.

Q. How far was the putt?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Like four inches maybe. It was really short.

Q. How was your Canadian contingent out there, with the atmosphere and the crowd?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's really fun to play with a crowd. Definitely had a lot of support from back home out there today. A guy even had maple leaf shorts on at one point I saw. It's really fun to have fans, especially ones from Canada, the extra love and support there. They seem to be following me at every tournament, which is really cool, and also just gaining fans here in Florida is fun for me.

Q. Have you started recognizing different people that show up?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, for sure. There's some people that I see really often throughout the year, and they travel a long way to come watch, which is really cool. Like Mike Miller, I just got to know him because I think this is his 37th event that he followed me, and he's from New York. He just travels around, and he's a great guy.

So I don't know, it's cool just to meet fans like that.

Q. Did he introduce himself?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think he was just walking around, and my parents noticed that he was at a few events. They started talking to him like outside the ropes, and then, yes, since then he's been a friend of the family.

Q. Certainly tougher scoring conditions today. Do you recognize a day where you can kind of separate yourself?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Definitely played a lot tougher than it did yesterday. I think you can see that in the scores as well. I really have played this course in this type of weather. Yesterday was kind of rare. This is my fourth year playing this event, and yesterday was the only day I ever played like that. Usually it's really windy and kind of cooler. So I think I was maybe more accustomed to it, but hopefully this weekend I can just continue to hit some birdies.

Q. (No microphone)? The fact that you play so much. Do you just love to play. Why do you play so much?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I love to play. I feel like I'm young, so I can. I just really enjoy it. Some weeks a lot of girls don't necessarily play some tournaments to save their world rank because you need to finish basically in the top five to even move up sometimes. But for me, I just love the competition. I'm not necessarily going after wins all the time, but a top ten finish means a lot to me. I'm just loving what I'm doing and trying to keep going.

Q. How seriously are you trying to figure out, if I cut back here, I can go up in the rankings? Have you seriously tried to figure that out?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, we've looked at it before. It's definitely a complicated system in a way, but the less you play, and if you pick and choose some of the events and you're able to play really well in those events, you can move up in a hurry.

Q. Do you wish the system was different?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I don't know. I feel like there's probably flaws in every system. I don't know, it's just the way it is, and I think some girls pay attention to it maybe more than other girls, but for the most part -- I mean, I feel like it still displays a lot of the top players, and I'm really happy to be in the top ten.

Q. Do you remember how young you were early in your golf days when you even could dream about being the top player in the world?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, you know, it's been a surreal journey for sure. It's been a lot of fun. A lot of great things have happened. Hopefully, I can be successful for at least a few more years.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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