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June 23, 2022

Brooke Henderson

Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Congressional Country Club (Blue Course)

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Here with Brooke Henderson who finished with a 1-under 71. That looked like pretty much an up-and-down kind of round for you. What are you more proud of, the 71 or overcoming that little stumble there in the middle of the front nine?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Definitely very proud to come back from that. Definitely wasn't what I was looking for, three bogeys in a row on the front nine.

Yeah, to make three birdies on the back and kind of get back under par. Any time you're under par in a major championship, you know you're doing something right.

So hopefully just go out tomorrow, minimize the mistakes, and make a few more birdies and hopefully catch In Gee because she's on fire right now.

THE MODERATOR: Nelly said the front nine was tough. It was brutal. What happened there? Was it the weather, or just being so early on a Thursday?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I think it was a combination of it all. It was very early. I'm not used to playing that early. Then it was raining most of our front nine, and the course was playing very long just with the soft conditions, and then the rain.

Coming up No. 9 that was the longest par-5 I've ever played in my life. I hit hybrid in on my third shot, and I just rarely have to do that. It was just kind of adjusting to that. Like you said, I'm just really happy I was able to overcome those three bogeys in a row.

THE MODERATOR: So then you came back with the three birdies on the back nine, including one on 17. Any of those stand out to you, or what was the story there?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I think getting the birdie on No. 11, my first birdie on the back nine, it really kind of settled me down. I was, like, okay, now we can play smart this back nine and hopefully get it back under par.

So that was a huge help. Yeah, just kind of got me to settle down and chase birdies after that.

Q. I know you have your head down, and you're taking care of your own business, but when you might glance at a board and see In Gee with nine birdies on the test that you just had, what's your reaction?

BROOKE HENDERSON: On the cart coming to the scoring, Nelly was, like, what golf course is she playing? It sort of feels like that. She's just on fire.

Sometimes In Gee does that. Sometimes she just plays so well, and nothing bothers her, and it's really cool to see. Hopefully I can be more like her tomorrow and make some more birdies and climb up the leaderboard.

Q. What satisfaction do you take being under par first round of a major, even though you see the score that In Gee is putting up?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Like I said, any time you're under par in a major championship, you know you're in a good spot, and you are doing things right.

Of course, seeing her so far up ahead of everybody, it makes you want to make a few more birdies, so hopefully just get off to a fast start tomorrow afternoon. Very happy to come back after those three bogeys and happy to be under par.

Q. Brooke, everybody says we're going to stick to our game plan, you know, can't look at what everybody else is doing, a lot of holes left. But then you look at that. It's hard not to say, wow, that's 8-under on the board.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, and it definitely does motivate you, and sometimes you can push a little too hard and be a little aggressive where in major championships you kind of have to stick to your game plan and hit it to the smart side.

Especially on these greens because a lot can happen with a small mistake. You kind of have to be smart on where you attack and where par is good.

There are a lot of holes left, and anything can really happen, but I think we'll have to make a few more birdies and just play smart the rest of the way.

Q. Brooke, how much more aggressive do you think you can be with the weather that's supposed to be clearing up, more sun? Obviously, the greens aren't as receptive, but the course probably won't be playing as long overall?

BROOKE HENDERSON: It's a balance. Right now everything is so soft that you're not planning on too much release on the greens, which is kind of comforting, but in the fairways you're getting no roll, and you have super long shots in.

I think getting the roll in the fairways and getting up a little bit further, having shorter clubs in is definitely going to help, but you're going to have to work with our caddies to make sure we're getting the release on the greens because if it does dry up a lot, then it could play totally different than it did today.

Q. You know major weeks are long weeks. When you make three bogeys in a row today, what role does your experience play as far as bouncing back?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I was not too happy at the time, but Brit is great, and she just got me to settle a little bit and be patient because a lot of bogeys can happen, and I didn't want to keep going on that trend and bogey the rest of the way.

So just trying to get right into the correct state of mind and hit fairways, hit greens, and just kind of play smart. Then once you kind of get it rolling, you can kind of try to make some more birdies.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks so much, Brooke.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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