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May 18, 2021

Brooke Henderson

Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

Kingsmill River Course

Quick Quotes

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by current Rolex Series No. 5, Brooke Henderson. This is your first event since capturing career win No. 10 at the HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open last month.

How did you celebrate the win and how did you reflect on reaching double-digit victories?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, double digits was really special. So Brit and I and to get the 10th win was really cool and especially the way we did it coming from behind, I had never really overcome such a margin to get my victory on Sunday afternoon, so that was pretty special.

And it was nice to have three weeks off and get a bit of a break, and you know, be able to celebrate it and enjoy the win a little bit more than going -- flying the next day and traveling to a next event. It was nice and you know, I had friend and neighbors, so it was awesome to come home to that.

THE MODERATOR: What did you learn on the journey to win ten and as a professional golfer.

BROOKE HENDERSON: The win was amazing. Thinking back, 2015, I didn't have any status, I was just trying to make my way on to tour, and getting my first win that year really changed everything.

I think the biggest thing I've learned is try to enjoy the process as much as possible and stay patient because there's going to be lots of up and down, that's the way golf and life is. Just really enjoy the good times and know that when you're going through lower points in your golf game, it's always going to get better and you just have to take all the lessons that it teaches you, you know, to persevere and to stay tough.

THE MODERATOR: I heard you watched The Last Dance during the time off. Michael Jordan, a big golf guy, but a few fun questions related to that. Is Britt the Pippen to your Jordan.

BROOKE HENDERSON: I would say so.

THE MODERATOR: And which player that was part of the Bulls die nasty over the years did you most relate to?

BROOKE HENDERSON: It was really inspirational and motivational to watch The Last Dance. I'm really happy that I was able to watch it over the last few weeks. I didn't really know a lot about Michael Jordan going into it.

So it was just really eye opening seeing all that he went through and how he pushed himself and also his teammates. I think there's lots of little lessons that you can take and move into Michael's game and also life, so I'm happy that I was able to watch it.

THE MODERATOR: Anything that you specifically took away from what you learned about his mindset or his personality or just the competitive nature that he always walked with?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I think just how tough mentally he was, was really, yeah, eye-opening and I think all sports, really physically you have to be ready and in shape and everything, but mentally you have to persevere and really get into the zone or into a state of mind where I can compete at the highest level and he was able to do that really consistently almost every single game over many years.

So just trying to see the little things that inspired him and motivated him and just trying to transfer that into my own game.

Q. You mentioned 2015 when you didn't have status and Kingsmill was among the tournaments that gave you an exemption. By my count, you've played 19 competitive rounds here and only one of them has been over par. No. 1, do you have an affinity for the tournament because it did grant you an exemption and what about this particular course do you feel suits your game so well?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, absolutely, so grateful that they took a chance on me in 2015 and gave me that exemption, and really helped get my career started, and I always love coming back here. It so beautiful right on the James River and the huge trees. It's really fun to be a part of.

The golf course I feel like has always setup pretty well for my game. Every hole kind of -- I feel very comfortable on every tee box and I think it important to hit a lot of fairways here, especially in past years when the rough was a lot thicker than it is this year, and just to be a good ball-striker because the greens are -- they have quite a bit of slope in them, and you definitely -- there's places on each green that you prefer to be and places where it makes it tough to make par.

I think every hole, I'm comfortable and I'm excited to be back here because I love this golf course and hopefully I can play well again this year.

Q. What do you recall most about two years ago and finishing second, just a couple behind Bronte if I recall correctly.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I got off to a pretty tough start on that Friday afternoon. I made a quad on the very first hole. So other than that, I played really well and was still in contention come Sunday.

So I think it just proves that I was making a lot of birdies and I think I have had course figured out pretty well strategy-wise, so hopefully I can just hit solid shots and follow the game plan.

Q. How would you describe your 2016 Olympics experience, and are you looking forward to Tokyo?

BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, 2016 was really fun. You know, to be able to represent Canada and play in the Games was really an honor and to be among the best athletes in the world from all different sports was a pretty cool feeling just watching them train and compete and be in the Olympic village with them. It was very inspiring.

I've been looking forward to Tokyo, so it would be an honor just to represent Canada again.

Q. In 2016, did you do the Opening Ceremony and all that? Did you take in almost everything you could?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Unfortunately we didn't do the Opening Ceremony and we didn't do the closing ceremony either because we flew right out and I played the CP Women's Open next week.

Q. Following up on the question about the Olympics, your focus is on LPGA events, but have you turned your mind at all to preparing for Tokyo? They have different styles of golf courses in Japan.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, for sure. As you mentioned the focus right now is on LPGA Tour events and we have a few majors before the Olympics, as well. So making sure that I'm performing well and peaking for those events, but the Olympics is a very large event on a very big global stage, so it would be great to be able to perform at my peak for that one, as well. So I think, you know, the next, I guess, four majors and Olympics, maybe my fifth major, are definitely weeks that I'm preparing for.

Q. Elena will likely be joining you as Canada's other golfer. Have you had any conversations yet about teaming up again since you guys were playing also in Rio?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, Elena is one of my best friends and so I love to play practice rounds with her and just chat with her out here on the course. So definitely Tokyo is on both of our minds and I'm glad it looks like she'll be the one joining me.

Q. I'm sure you're aware, it's an issue back home in Ontario, that golf courses remain closed due to COVID-19 regulations. Just wondering, obviously golf has been a very important part of your life. How do you feel about the ongoing closure here until it seems like June 2?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's definitely pretty tough. I think, you know, golf, if you do it safely and follow all the protocols, around the clubhouse and with groupings and stuff, I think it can be done very safely. I think the LPGA Tour has been proof of that. We've been able to play pretty consistently week-in and week-out with low cases and low transmissions.

I think it is a great way for people to get outdoors and get people to socialize a little bit. Hopefully courses will open up in the near future.

Q. Kingsmill is bringing in fans from the general public. What's that going to be like having folks following you around again?

BROOKE HENDERSON: It's really exciting to have fans back. You definitely miss the energy and adrenaline that they bring and I think it is limited still but it's really nice to have that little bit extra boost when you tee it up on the first hole and have fans applaud good shots. Actually one of my really good friends and fans that has followed me the last few years showed up today, Mike Miller. I was just hitting a shot into the 9th hole and he cheered. It was kind of fun to hear that.

It's exciting and looking forward to the next few days.

Q. How strange is it to play golf with essentially no one around?

BROOKE HENDERSON: It is really weird. It was kind of like playing junior golf again. I guess at the end of the day, you're just always trying to be the best that you can and focus on the next shot, but it's definitely very exciting to have fans back.

Q. Do you think the course will be easier with more roll and less rough?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, the course conditions are very different than I've seen other years here. Very firm, very fast. They have also moved quite a few tees around, too. I think maybe to compensate for how much is releasing out there. But I think there might be more birdie opportunities because you're hitting shorter shots into the greens but at the same time they are releasing so much into the greens that you're really going to have to play smart and hit into the right places to give yourself some good looks.

Q. Who or what has inspired you to push yourself throughout your career?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I think since I've been young, I've always been pushing for big goals and big dreams, and I've been really fortunate that I've been able to live my dream out here on the LPGA Tour and have had the opportunity to try to achieve those goals. You know, every time I get a win, I'm excited to get the next one.

You know, I think having my dad as my coach and my sister as my caddie, really tight-knit group and system that we have in place and we are always just trying to be a little bit better all the time as people and also I'm just trying to be a better golfer.

Q. What would you like to see from the new LPGA Commissioner?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Oh, interesting. I think they have very big shoes to fill for Mike Whan. He did amazing things for our tour. We are definitely going to miss him, but if they can continue and strive to do what Mike's done, I think we're in very good hands.

Q. You mentioned what a good job he's done. What in particular has really impressed but his stewardship and leadership?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Just always pushing to get us noticed and giving us more opportunities to play for bigger purses, network TV and better golf courses. He's always just trying to push the game forward for women, which I think is really key, especially now in trying to catch up to the men in terms of purses and just popularity.

Q. You were mentioning enjoying The Last Dance, and obviously the soundtrack is a big part of that document you series. You've talked about a lot of things over the years but we've never spoke between what kind of music you listen to, if any, to pump up. I was curious, what do you listen to when you're preparing or working out or whatever?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I actually listen to a lot of country music, so pretty much all country.

Q. Any particular favorite artists that stick out?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I really like old country like Reba McIntyre, Ella Jackson, George Strait, but also new stuff like Luke Bryant and Thomas Rhett.

Q. You had two aces during the 2019 LPGA Tour season. Take a walk down memory lane with me. The hole-in-one, No. 15, the first round of the mire classic, what do you remember from that ace and that particular round? Did you know it went in? Do you recall your reaction?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it was actually getting dark and I couldn't see the pin. I said to Britt, you're going to have told me where to aim here. She did and next thing I know, I had a hole-in-one. At the time, I think it got me to 4-under or 5-under for the round. Later they called it and then they came back the next morning and I was able to finish that round at 8-under and it gave me the lead. I went on to win a few days later. So that ace was really key and I'm glad it went in.

Q. Your hole-in-one from 175 yard out on No. 2 at the Buick Shanghai event, that led to an 8-under 64 round and grabbing a lead in the second round. What do you remember from that ace, your reaction?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it was a tricky hole, that one. So I hit a pretty good shot, and it took one big bounce and rolled toward the hole. Really happy it went in and had a great round and got me into contention again.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for your time, Brooke.

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