October 1, 2021
Galloway, New Jersey, USA
Seaview, A Dolce Hotel
Q. We're joined by Brooke Henderson after a 5-under 66 in the first round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer. Brooke, six birdies on the day, including three straight to end it. How nice was it to string those together, especially the end result?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, felt like I was playing solid all day. Really didn't turn things on until the back nine.
And felt really nice. Feel like I had a little bit of trouble finishing the last few weeks, so to finish today with a lot of birdies felt really nice.
Look forward to hopefully continuing that tomorrow afternoon.
Q. You had a career-best in this event last fall. What do you away from that performance to maybe give you some confidence heading into this week?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, absolutely. It was really nice to finish T6 last year here. I feel like every year we're learning a little bit more about it, good places to be on certain holes and certain places you should definitely avoid.
Also just becoming more comfortable in the wind, although the wind did die down this afternoon. So I feel like Brit and I have done a pretty good job last few years on this course, and like I said, hopefully I am able to continue it and play well tomorrow.
Q. Why do you play well here?
BROOKE HENDERSON: One thing is it's close to home, so normally there is a lot of fans that like to cheer me on, which I think is a little bit extra boost which is nice.
And I think as I mentioned, just learning the course a little bit better every year. Feel like we have a pretty solid handle on it, and as long as you're hitting solid shots and know where to place them, you can give yourself lots of birdie chances.
Q. Do you enjoy golf courses where the greens are firm and fast you got to play that bounce and run-up?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's definitely a lot of adjusting. Brit did a really good job today telling me where to hit it for the release because it is hard to judge at times. I think when you're playing well it doesn't really matter what the course conditions are. You can kind of adjust to it.
When things go a little bit south, not as great as you want, then it really becomes more difficult to try to adjust and stay calm.
Q. You've played well on golf courses where 3-under is a good score and you've played on courses where you need to shoot 8 or 9 to be in the lead. Which do you like better? And what is it about that that makes you like it?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I like to make birdies, so I like when you have to go out and shoot a lot under par. This can be one of those golf courses if to the winds stay down, so could be very low score this weekend.
But, yeah, I like the challenge of making birdies and I like the adrenaline rush when you get them.
Q. Did something click going into that back nine stretch? Was it just the wind dying down? Was there a shot that got you going? What clicked for you that back nine?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It was nice that the conditions became a lot calmer. I think Brit did a good job keeping me even and calm attitude when things -- I was 2-under and things were kind of at a tipping point, could go either way.
She did a good job keeping me in the moment and we made a lot of birdies coming in.
Q. Why were things at a tipping point? Because you didn't feel like you were making enough birdies or...
BROOKE HENDERSON: On 12 I got a really bad lie and I had to wait for a rules official and things were just getting a little bit, not out of control, but just more out of control than I would've liked.
I was able to get up and down for par, which was great and made a birdie on the next hole.
Q. Brooke, you won earlier this year's L.A. Open, a course that maybe wasn't your favorite the past several years; this course was maybe not your favorite several years ago but you turned it around and put some nice performances up on the board. What is it about the mindset with courses that maybe historically haven't been your best friend that you've kind of turned around and become friends with?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, like L.A. and this course, you have to learn how to play them. It goes against a lot of my natural instincts to hit woods off tees and to layup in certain spots. I think once I learn to play it like that and just trust it, then you can start to have good scores.
So I think that's sort of what happened with me over the last few years here; definitely the case in L.A.
Q. This is one of the shorter courses that we play on tour. How challenging is it out there with the rough up a little bit and the firmness on the fairways and greens?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah the firmness is the big key. Definitely adjusting to that, and as you mentioned, the rough and the fescue. You got to avoid those as much as you can.
So when it's calm there is definitely a lot of birdies out here. When it's windy, you're just trusting your caddie a lot and praying for good shots.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports