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June 22, 2021

Brooke Henderson

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Atlanta Athletic Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We're here with our final press conference of the day, 2016 KPMG Women's PGA Championship winner, Brooke Henderson, Brooke also a winner this year on the LPGA Tour in Los Angeles, making your seventh KPMG appearance. What are your thoughts here on Atlanta Athletic Club? We're hearing it's long, a little wet right now, but a good major test.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yes, the course is absolutely beautiful and in great condition. As you mentioned, it's a little bit wet, but I'm sure it will dry up over the next few days. Just an amazing venue. I'm really excited to get to play this golf course the next few days.

Q. What are your thoughts about the golf course? How much have you seen, and how do you think it's going to set up this week?

BROOKE HENDERSON: The two nines play very differently, actually. Off the tee, it's two very different styles of play. That will definitely be interesting and hopefully get a good strategy together to play it well. I'm excited that it's playing long. Hopefully, the length comes in as a bit of an advantage for me. I feel like my ball striking is trending in the right direction right now, and that's always very key to give yourself lots of good birdie looks, especially on a hard golf course.

The better you hit the ball, a little easier you put it on yourself, so hopefully that will be the case.

As you know, I've been trending well with my putting over the last few months, putting in some extra work on that. That always needs to show up on Sunday of a major championship, so hopefully it does.

Q. What do you mean by two different nines? How are they different?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Just on the front nine, lots of times the bunkers are up the right-hand side, and as long as you're left of them, you're good, and then on the back nine, it's very -- there's bunkers on both sides, and you kind of have to hit a little bit straighter in between them.

Q. The million dollar question, is your sister going to be back this week?

BROOKE HENDERSON: We're just kind of waiting and seeing, but I hope she's back sooner than later. I definitely miss her. We definitely make a great team. Hopefully, sooner than later.

Q. Do you think it's possible this week?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Maybe, yeah. Like I said, it's just kind of at the point where we're just waiting and hopefully things go the right direction soon.

Q. And what was the toughest part last week of going out there without her?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I think a little bit of confidence. We've worked together for five years, and she just knows me so well, so things are very easy. Everett was great. He did a great job. I didn't play that well, but he was right there for me and helped me out a lot.

I think just explaining what I wanted to happen and speaking my mind, where normally Brit kind of knows what I'm thinking already, so that was probably the biggest challenge. Somewhere down the road when I do have another caddie, I just have to remember to speak clearly and really explain what I'm trying to do.

Q. Something has happened with Canadian golf in the last year and a half, two years on the women's side with you and Corey Conners and Mackenzie and all that. This is in the middle of all the restrictions of COVID. What's going on? How did this happen?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, Canadian golf is definitely trending in a really great direction right now. I feel like the Canadian national team has a big part of that. There's great coaches up there. It's a great program that I was a part of when I was 14, and Corey was on the team, and so was Mackenzie and teammates with me, so that was really cool.

I feel like, yeah, they just have a great program, great strategies in place, and it really helps you prepare for the Tour. Even on the women's side, there's a lot of great players on the Symetra Tour and trying to get their way on the LPGA Tour. I think a lot of great things will happen over the year.

Q. I understand part of your strength in golf comes with being a goalie in hockey. I wonder if that's the secret for a lot of Canadians in golf.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, maybe. I feel like all hockey players that turn to golf usually hit it pretty far, so, yeah, maybe there is something to that.

Q. I know he didn't have the final round he wanted, but how cool was it to see Mackenzie playing so well at the U.S. Open last week?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, absolutely. It's always fun to see the Maple leaf near the top, especially in a championship like the U.S. Open. Hopefully I can follow in his footsteps and get into the final pairing this week.

Q. The Olympic team is being named after this week. You're locked in for a trip to the Olympics. What does it mean to you to be able to represent Canada on the international stage?

BROOKE HENDERSON: To go to Rio in 2016 was honestly a dream come true. When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of being in the Olympics somehow, being an Olympian. I didn't know how I was going to get there, but then golf came back in, and I worked really hard to get on that team. Just being amongst the best athletes in the world was an incredible experience and in the Olympic village and just watching them train and compete and party afterwards. It was pretty cool.

This year will be very different, a lot more strict, as it should be for COVID purposes, but I'm definitely honored to go and be with Alena Sharp and represent Canada and hopefully this time play a little bit better, and hopefully one of us or both walks away with a medal.

Q. We just announced the new KPMG stats program with everything that's been rolling out over the next few weeks. How do you see that program helping you as you get to put more hard numbers and hard data points onto your game?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Absolutely, I think it's great to see where your flaws are. Sometimes you think that you miss a lot of left-to-right putts, but when you see it in writing, it really confirms that, and you know exactly what you need to work on.

I think it will be great too for the fans to really see each player in much more detail. I think that's exciting for us as professionals and also the fans.

Q. How are you feeling coming in this week? You said missed the cut last week and then withdrew. I know you had a bit of a cold the week before that, but how are you feeling going into this major week?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Unfortunately, I had to withdraw in San Francisco, which wasn't very nice. I think I was just still on the recovery last week, but I'm feeling much better now. I feel like the confidence may have shifted a little bit, but I still have played really well this season. I feel like over the last few days I flew home back to Florida after the missed cut last week and just kind of got a couple days to myself to rest and to regroup and practice. I feel like I'm in a much better place.

This championship has always meant so much to me, so it's been very special. I'm just excited to tee it up on Thursday and hopefully get four solid rounds together.

Q. Sei Young mentioned how cool it is when she pulled in and saw her face up there. Does that ever get old seeing the celebrations of big wins like that?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I love it, especially at a major championship, to come in and now that you've won before and to see your poster. It's pretty special. At the U.S. Women's Open, I always look at all those great champions. Hopefully, I'll be able to add my poster to that one day, but to have it here is very special.

Q. I know this is a new golf course, one we've never played at before. I'm not sure how familiar you were with it before you came here, but what do you think is going to be the key to success for you this week on this challenging golf course?

BROOKE HENDERSON: It always comes down to short game on the weekend, but to put myself in good positions, it will be ball striking. That's definitely my strength, so I'd like to take advantage of that. Put in a little bit of work this afternoon on the range and again tomorrow. Hopefully, my ball striking is right where it needs to be, where I can hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, and when the birdie putts are there, hopefully I can capitalize.

Q. The first week for range finders, how do you feel about those? And then the second question is green reading books. The PGA TOUR is voting to ban them. Are you a fan? Would you like to see the LPGA follow?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, the range finders is very interesting. I feel like it will be a lot easier out there to calculate numbers and maybe a little bit more confidence because you know for sure that the number is right. It will definitely be a big adjustment come Thursday just because you're not used to that. I think moving forward it will be a good thing.

And the green books, I understand why a lot of players don't agree with them and why the PGA TOUR is possibly banning it next year. At the same time, I use one, so I really like it. I feel like, yes, it is definitely an advantage, just like range finders are, but I feel like they've been in play now for a few years and it seems to be okay. So that one I hope that the LPGA doesn't ban.

Q. What do you think is the most challenging part of this golf course with the aspect, anything about the golf course?

BROOKE HENDERSON: With any major championship, you hit a tough shot, you're going to be in a tough position, and you're going to struggle to make par. Yeah, just like any major, you've got to hit it well to succeed, but here if you get short-sided, if you try to cut corners, it could end badly. You have to stick to the high side and the correct sides of each fairway and greens as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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