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September 12, 2020

Brooke Henderson

Rancho Mirage, California, USA

Mission Hills Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We're here with Brooke Henderson who just lit up the course with a 7-under 65. You made it look pretty easy out there, pretty comfortable. Tell us about what happened on No. 2 with your eagle.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, definitely a great start. Actually missed a short birdie putt on 1, so I was a little bit upset about that. I thought I could have a nice eagle opportunity on 2 if I hit a good drive and second which I was able to do. I just had about maybe 12, 15 feet for eagle and was able to make.

It was definitely a solid start to my day and after that, made air bunch of birdies. Nice to make the turn that many under par. Would have liked to get a few more on the back nine but maybe tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Looks like you had a pretty solid round out there. Any shot that you're particularly proud of or good moments?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I had a tap-in on 4 which that was kinds of nights, too, so I was kind of -- sort of an easy start which was nice and relaxed a little bit, being moving day, I wanted to get a solid round out there and try to climb the leaderboard as much as possible.

Still a lot of golf to be played today but nice to see my name up there and hopefully tomorrow I can post a similar round.

THE MODERATOR: You've always played solid here at Mission Hills but maybe not the best of your major performances. You have a Top-10 here. What about your performance this week or the course this week is different and really seems to be bringing out the best in your game?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Well, it's definitely a different golf course out here with the different types of grasses growing and just the way some holes are playing. So I feel like we've done a good job adjusting to that.

Like you said I've always played solid here, but maybe not my best. Nice to get some solid scores together and feel more comfortable around here. Playing with Lexi the last two days, too, this is a place she always plays well at. So it was fun to see how she plays the course. We play it pretty similar, and it was a confidence booster.

Q. I missed the second shot on 2. What club was that?


Q. Did you have nerves from this morning?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Just a major championship and I think everybody on the first tee wanted to have a good day and move up the leaderboard a little bit. Nothing crazy but just excited for the day.

Q. Starting the day six behind, did you have any, not so much a target, but you would have been happy with what at the end of the day?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Being moving day I was just trying to move up as much as I could, make a lot of birdies. Trying to get into double digits under par. That was a big one. Just trying to put myself in great position going into tomorrow.

Q. Is this better than you would have expected?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I'm definitely really happy with this, and I know, as I said, still early. There's still a lot of girls out on the course. There will definitely be some birdies coming in. So I won't be in this position I suspect, but at least I climbed a lot and I hope closer to the final group tomorrow.

Q. Lexi was talking yesterday about having no fans and maybe it's more impactful here because of the way the fans are around 18 and everything. Obviously you've had a tremendous fan base here because of the snowbirds who are actually in Canada right now, is they are smart. How weird is it to be here without them here waving flags and cheering for you?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, for sure. It's definitely really noticeable. But the thing about this place is there's so much tradition and history here, it's really special. Even without the fans that we miss a lot, it's still a great place to be.

I think, you know, it's probably most noticeable walking up 18, having the fans there for high-fives and their support coming down the stretch. Like you said, it's still a great place and it's still a lot of fun to be here.

Q. You've always played with a fiery demeanor. Is that something that you've tried to lessen over the years or do you want to be yourself and let it come out? Where are you on that journey?

BROOKE HENDERSON: It's definitely a journey. I think it's a little bit back and forth every single week. Definitely trying to be a little bit more patient out on the course. Maybe not be quite as hard on myself. But definitely try and to always push forward and try to be a little bit better and make birdies.

Q. On a really tough setup like this, does it change how you manage your expectations and how you handle the emotion of golf?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, being a major championship, you've really got to stay patient and know bogeys are going to happen. The rough out there is very thick and you're just praying it's sitting up if you hit it in there. You just have to go with what the course gives you and just expect bogeys and try to make a lot of birdies to counter them.

Q. There were only two holes you didn't hit driver on. Maybe because you had run out of room. What does it take to not hit driver on a par 4 or par 5?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I would definitely prefer to hit driver and have shorter clubs in. I hit 3-wood on 10 just because it was a little bit too narrow and possibility of running through, but just mainly because it's a little bit too narrow up there where my driver would have been, and again, on 6, and same thing, I would have -- driver is not a smart play, so I just hit 3-wood off the tee.

Q. If you have enough runway, you're going to hit driver every single time?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, pretty much.

THE MODERATOR: Before we wrap up, you're tied for the lead right now, no matter what. Even if there's some movement, you're definitely going to be toward the top of the leaderboard. What's the routine for tonight as you get ready to head out tomorrow for the final day here at the ANA?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Nothing too crazy. It was nice that we had earlier tee times to take advantage of the softer conditions and also to have the rest of the afternoon to hang out, which is good. But same thing: Might hit a few putts, have lunch, have dinner, go to sleep.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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