January 21, 2023
Orlando, Florida, USA
Lake Nona Golf & Country Club
THE MODERATOR: Brooke, you said to Amy out there, not as smooth, but still with a three-shot lead. How are you feeling after today?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I wasn't as smooth out there today, but I feel like we fought it out pretty well. I still was hitting the ball very well and giving myself a lot of opportunities, so no complaints there.
Wasn't making the same amount of putts that I did the other days, but the putter still feels really good, and I'm just super excited to be in contention and in the final groups first tournament back. Just a great feeling, and grateful to be here and hopefully tomorrow is a good day.
Q. Seemed like after the bogey was the first time all week your game had stalled a little, then you make the big putt. How much of a lift did that give you?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, that putt on 16 was a huge help. I had missed two short birdie putts on 14 and 15, so to make a long bomb like that that was sliding, I was super excited to make that, and so it just kind of gave it a little bit of momentum and was able to make two pretty decent par saves on 17 and 18.
Yeah, you know, like I said, wasn't quite as smooth today, but big putts like that in big moments definitely help.
Q. Did your heart race a little on 15 on your second shot?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I was a little too far left, but it ended up it was in perfect position. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't walk away with birdie there, but no, I was really happy to see that it was safe there just in front.
Q. There are a lot of Canadian snowbirds down here?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah.
Q. Are there?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah.
Q. What's that like?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I have such loyal and amazing fans from up north and really all around the world, but especially from Canada. I'm just always so thankful when they're out supporting me, especially in the Florida events. They're always out here in full force, and it's a lot of fun.
Q. Have you ever played 72 holes where you didn't have a hiccup or two?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I feel like maybe my first win in Portland. That was a good one. Everything went really well that week for me. I feel like there has been a few weeks where things -- I've started out really well and just kind of finished strong, so hopefully that'll be similar this week. I haven't really had too much of downward momentum this week. That bogey on 12 kind of got me a little bit today, but I was able to get right back with that birdie on 16 and some good looks on 14 and 15.
It's all been pretty smooth sailing so far. Hopefully tomorrow I can just make a few more putts and continue to give myself good looks.
Q. After 12 victories, you know that occasionally a hiccup is coming and how to fight through it.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's golf. It's so up and down, and you have to be prepared for those hiccups and those times when things aren't going to go as well as you would like.
I'm hoping it won't happen tomorrow, but like I said, it's golf. It's a roller coaster. You just have to ride it out and fight back if it happens.
Q. I asked Annika Sorenstam if there was any part of your game, having seen you two days in a row now, that reminded her of herself in her prime, and she said it was your demeanor, that you never got too high and never got too low, no matter what was happening on the golf course. Do you find that -- what do you think of that, and do you think that's one of your biggest assets?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Well, that's a huge compliment that she would say that. I think I mentioned it yesterday, we all look up to her out here and how steady she was and how consistent and how dominant she was. So if I can just take little pieces of her game and add it to mine, that would be phenomenal.
It was such a privilege and honor to be able to play with her these last two days, and I'm really excited that I had the opportunity to do that.
Q. If I'm not mistaken, I saw a graphic earlier, I'm trying to do the math in my head, you are now in this tournament a cumulative 51-under par over the years. What is it about this event, doesn't matter if it's here or the previous location? What is it about this event that agrees with you so much?
BROOKE HENDERSON: The atmosphere here is so much fun. The fans and playing alongside the celebrities and -- it's just a great week. Hilton Grand Vacations, they treat us really well, and it's just an exciting way to start the season. That's pretty cool that I'm that much under par, and hopefully I can continue to make that further under par tomorrow.
Q. There's just one thing lacking from your career at this tournament, right?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, that's right. Hopefully we fix that.
Q. You just talked about obviously embracing this event and playing alongside the celebrities and liking that. Tomorrow, of course, you're going to be regrouped with just pros. Does that do anything mentally for you, to know that it becomes more of a normal Sunday for you?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it will be a different feel for sure, more like the typical LPGA tournament, but even just in dining and on the range, it's like a little bit looser with the celebrities around. It's kind of fun for a change, and I seem to really enjoy that.
But yeah, tomorrow it'll be a bit of a different day, but I'm really looking forward to it, and hopefully it goes well.
Q. We talked about this before, but if on Wednesday somebody said, all new clubs, your first event back after rehabbing your back, you had a three-shot lead going into the final round, would you take that every day?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, absolutely. It's great. It's just so much fun to be in contention and in the final groups on the weekend and right in the mix. That's the best feeling that there is.
Yeah, grateful to be here, and hopefully those few birdies that I missed today, I'll be able to make them tomorrow.
Q. You mentioned Annika; what stood out to you about her game? She might not have played her best rounds the last two days, but is there something that stood out and you were like, okay, that's why she was who she was?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, we all grew up watching her and loved seeing her dominate out there. Even now, she's so competitive and so tough but yet really kind and just a great player and great person.
We all continue to look up to her, and like I said, a few questions ago, if we can add little pieces of her game to our game, we'll be in good shape.
Q. What would be a piece?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I'd take any of it.
Q. Anything in her game that might have stood out and you were like, wow, that's pretty impressive?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think just the toughness. She's a tough competitor, and I really admire that about her.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports