Brooke Henderson has a couple of top 10s this year, but admittedly, she’s off the pace of last year when she accumulated 15, including two wins, one being a major at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
“Coming off such a great high last year, it’s been a little bit disappointing, but I feel like any game is extremely close – I make one more putt on Thursday and the momentum changes for the entire week. You know, instead of being close to the cut line, I’m in the top 10 or the final groups,” said Henderson as she prepared for this week’s Manulife LPGA Classic in Cambridge, Ont.
“So, I go off that adrenaline, the rush of the fans and maybe, I make a few more and I win the tournament, or I miss that putt on Thursday and all of a sudden, it looks shaky to even make the weekend,” she said.
“I think I continue to be patient and make that one or two more putts early in the week, and hopefully, once I feel the rush of the fans and feel their positive energy, I can continue to improve and get better and get back to having some top 10 finishes,” said Henderson, who comes into Cambridge ranked 15th in the world.
As she did last year, Henderson is keeping a busy schedule, playing in all 13 events thus far in 2017, but she adds there is rest week ahead towards the end of June, a week before she defends her major championship at the Women’s PGA Championship.
This week. however, is out of the question, just as it will be in late August when she plays the CP Women’s Open at Ottawa Hunt, where she’s an honourary member.
“I feel like the LPGA schedule has been set up really well so far this year. There has been a lot of breaks in between tournaments,” she said.
“I’ve been able to play pretty well, week in and week out. I’m going to take a break here in a few weeks. Arkansas, I am going take that week off and hopefully, have some rest and work on parts of my game that it’s hard to work on every single week,” she added.
“It’s such a great feeling knowing that the whole country is definitely behind me this week and every week that I’m out on the LPGA Tour,” said Henderson.
“I haven’t had a great finish here yet at the ManuLife Classic, especially since it’s moved to Whistle Bear, but I really like the course and I think it’s going to set up well for my game this week,” she said, adding that the week does come with extra responsibilities, including interaction with her Canadian fans.
“I want to really show them how much I appreciate their support every single week. This is the only time they can kind of see me face to face, so I want to take extra time and make sure I sign their autographs or take that picture, try to leave them with a great memory that they can take forward and continue to watch me in other events all over around the world,” said Henderson.
“Along with a lot of my sponsors days, I did RBC Day yesterday along with Morgan (Pressel) and Alena (Sharp) and Jennifer Ha. It was so much fun. It was a great event, but all those things take up time, and more media requests. All these things are great problems to have,” she said.
“I think since I had such an amazing season last year I kind of learned what time management really was and how important it is to make sure I do the really important things, but also take time for myself and make sure that I can play well that week,” she said.
Time management surely is an important factor as she goes into a busy summer on the schedule, highlighted by the events that made her first full year on tour in 2016 so memorable.
So too is the confidence that the stratosphere that she reached a year ago is still attainable.
“My game is extremely close. Sports are such a fine line and I’m just hoping I can cross that line and perform a little bit better,” said Henderson.
“There is a lot of golf still left, four majors still left, and I can have the chance to go and defend my first major championship in a few weeks down at Olympia Fields and then, I have a chance to go and defend in Portland again for the third time later this summer,” she said.
“So those are two weeks, I’ll definitely want to peak for. Major championships, you always want your game to be the best that it can be. My world ranking has slipped a little bit. I got up to No. 2 last summer,” she added.
“If I can crack the top 10 in the next couple months that would make my really happy. Then, we’ll just kind of regroup and see how we go from there,” she said.