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January 22, 2023

Brooke Henderson

Orlando, Florida, USA

Lake Nona Golf & Country Club

Press Conference


THE MODERATOR: Okay, here with Brooke Henderson following her victory at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

Welcome to our virtual and in-person media center.

Tell us how it feels, first event of the year and you're a champion?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's super exciting. Coming into this week I couldn't have asked for anything more. It was kind of the dream start, which is really exciting looking forward to the rest of 2023.

I love this championship. It's so unique and fun to play alongside the celebrities and amateurs and a really cool atmosphere. Always really wanted to win this one, so happy I finally got it.

Q. I know that this event specifically was a goal for you this year. How satisfying is it to reach that goal so early?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, super exciting. The off-season there was a lot things going on, a lot of things happening, so to come out really strong really means a lot to me.

I think my team has really worked hard in the off-season, too, so just really nice to see all the hard work pay off.

Q. Today the wind is blowing a lot more and you were still able to go out and put out an under-par score. Was it more difficult playing with that lead?

BROOKE HENDERSON: It was really difficult conditions today, at least I was finding it that way, so really happy with the 2-under round.

Not as many birdies on the card, not as many good looks, but I feel like the ball striking was still very consistent, and obviously to calculate distances I worked really well with Brit trying adjust everything with all the wind and a little bit cooler temperatures as well.

Q. You mentioned the ball striking. Did you feel that was your strongest part throughout the week?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Honestly, I think all parts of the game were working really well this week, which that doesn't always happen, so it was really nice to benefit from that and be able to hoist this trophy.

Off the tee today maybe the drive wasn't as good as the rest of the week, but it was still very consistent. Ball striking I gave myself a lot of good birdie looks, and especially the first three days made a lot of putts.

Yeah, really can't complain about anything. I'm really happy I made the switch to TaylorMade, and hopefully the success just continues.

Q. When you put a new putter in the bag, sometimes just the new fresh look, why did you take to this putter so quickly?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I really love the feel of it. My coach, my dad, my sister, they all said the same thing: This putter feels really good. Over the off-season just working with it a bit I was making a lot of putts, so a lot of confidence, which is a really nice feeling for me.

Hopefully just keep the momentum going.

Q. When did you have all the clubs in your bag now, when was that finalized?

BROOKE HENDERSON: The irons we just put in the weekend before we came here, like Sunday. Yeah, so I was using 790s but we adjusted a few things about them. I think loft maybe. Loft on the irons.

So the adjustments were happening like right up to this week. My 3-wood I adjusted really recently, too. So lots of things, and I think even with the victory I might adjust a few more things to make it a little bit better.

I couldn't be happier how things went with them.

Q. You've obviously won a lot of tournaments out here, but in terms of being Player of the Year, World No. 1, does this feel like it could be your breakout year?

BROOKE HENDERSON: That would be awesome. Definitely the dreams start. I think every year I try to get a little bit better, and hopefully this year I can just continue to make progress and steps, and at the end the year if I'm in contention for some of those things, I'll be really happy.

Q. Do you feel like you put a little internal pressure on yourself to take the next leap?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I feel like I found a lot of success out here and it's been really exciting. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because it still feels like a dream to be able to play against the best in the world and to have a world ranking inside the top 10 so consistently and 13 victories.

A lot of things have gone really well. I'm always trying to get a little bit better and chase bigger goals. Hopefully more victories are to come. Yeah, just small steps, and hopefully it pays off in the long run.

Q. Did you add loft or take lot of off your irons?


Q. De-lofted. And then how many hours would you estimate you put in testing out the new equipment?

BROOKE HENDERSON: It was a pretty smooth transition. I feel like the team at TaylorMade did a really good job of what I was playing before and trying to match it or fix some of the things that I wanted to improve on from my other set.

So they did a great job. It was pretty smooth. If we had an issue, they were quick to tell us how to adjust or send us new clubs that worked. It always takes a little time to get used to new things.

Q. When did you start that process, testing out the new equipment?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Maybe I'll skip that question. End of last year.

Q. Finally, did you see the guy on the boat with the flag?


Q. Did you know him?

BROOKE HENDERSON: No, I didn't know him. I thought that was pretty cool. One day it looked like it was on the end of a fishing rod. I'm not sure. It was really awesome to see them on 18.

Q. Every win obviously important, exciting. Given everything that happened in the off-season, to win the very first event of this season, how satisfying is this victory specifically?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, with everything that went on in the off-season, so many things happening, this just feels really, really good. Every year I try to win at least twice on tour, so this is a really good start to get one so early. Takes a little pressure off.

I'm just really excited for the rest of the year. Feel like I have a little time off now, but Brit and I love going to Thailand and Singapore, so looking forward to those weeks. Middle of the summer the schedule is really packed, so hopefully heat up during those weeks.

Q. I was going to say, with winning this week, how badly do you wish there were more tournaments starting next week and keep the momentum going?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, for sure would be nice to keep the momentum, but hopefully over these next few weeks we can make the few adjustments we want with the clubs and hopefully come out stronger and better in Asia.

Q. Three wins in 12 starts on LPGA now. I think it's your best stretch in terms of winning. What's your confidence level?

BROOKE HENDERSON: It's pretty high right now. I think just lots of hard work and it's paying off, getting breaks at the right time. God has been very gracious to us and given us a lot of great opportunities, and hopefully we can continue to capitalize and just continue to get better and make the small steps of improvement.

Q. I asked you yesterday about the Canadian fans; they were out in force again today. How does that lift you? I was talking to one of them and they were like, they're kind of there to support you, help your mindset, keep your spirits up. You didn't need much of that today.

BROOKE HENDERSON: No, it's amazing. I have such loyal and supportive fans and I love when there are big crowds at events, and this week there were big crowds. On the first tee today it was a really solid crowd, so that was really exciting.

A lot of them are from Canada and they wear the Canadian gear, but I really have fans from all over. That's pretty cool.

Q. You mentioned how your confidence is high now. Curious what it might have been at the beginning of the week considering everything that you went through in the off-season. Was there a point where you were saying, okay, let's see how it goes?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I think you kind of go through that. It's golf. There are lots of ups and downs and things mentally that you have to overcome. But I was looking forward to the week and excited to have the opportunity to play with only 31 LPGA Tour players. Odds are pretty decent if you can get some good rounds in.

We were just really excited for the opportunity.

Q. How much of a boost was having such a really good round after day one to kind of carry you through the rest of it?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it was a really hot start. To shoot minus-5 the first day, that's always a great feeling. It's even more so when there was a cut, but this week there wasn't a cut, so that was even a little bit less pressure off.

Yeah, to get off to a hot start feels really nice. Really we never lost too much momentum. Just kept chasing birdies and kept taking it further under par.

Q. Easier or tougher when the wind is like this to be in front?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Well, I enjoy playing in the wind. I feel like a lot of my wins have come in windy conditions. I wasn't happy to see it so windy, but it didn't really shake us too much. We just tried to go out and play really solidly, smart, and aggressive when we could.

Q. What's the biggest key to playing in the wind?

BROOKE HENDERSON: I think trajectory. Just being really smart with calculations and where the misses are.

Q. How do you change the trajectory?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Do you mean technically?

Q. Yeah.

BROOKE HENDERSON: Just like back in the stance, shorter swing, saw it off a little bit.

Q. Congratulations. What does it say about the state of your game so early in the season that you can go wire to wire with such a talented field?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it is a really talented field. It's Tournament of Champions, so it's really the best. It was really cool to get off to the hot start we did and carry it all the way through, and to have consistent and under-par rounds was really exciting. Yeah, I'm -- it's just super exciting.

Like Adam mentioned, I kind of wish there were tournaments a little bit closer, but I look forward to carrying the momentum into Asia.

Q. How much do you enjoy playing at Lake Nona? And what are you thoughts on the conditions this week and how the course was playing?

BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, this course was in beautiful condition. They worked really hard and everything about it was in really great shape. It's really exciting to have the opportunity to play great courses like this.

A lot of girls out here, they have homes and they practice here, so you know it's a great course. I really look forward to the opportunity to play here, and now I love it even a little bit more now that I played so well.

THE MODERATOR: All right, thank you so much, Brooke.

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