Brooke Henderson has her name near the top of an LPGA leaderboard yet again. She fired an opening round four-under 67 this afternoon at Highland Meadows Golf Club, and currently sits in a tie for fifth, just one stroke back of the lead. I briefly spoke with her following the round:
Q: Brooke, you haven’t exactly played your best golf here in the past (missed cut and T-38th in two appearances). What’s different so far this week?
A: You know, I just tried to come out of the shoot with fresh eyes, and look at the golf course differently than I have in the past. I feel like today I was able to hit the ball in some really good spots, and give myself some really good birdie looks, which is always what you want. I’ve never really played that well here before, but I just kind of got that out, and hopefully over the weekend I’ll make a lot of birdies, and climb up the leaderboard a little bit more.
Q: You had a really nice par save on number two; your 11th hole of the day. How big was that for keeping the momentum of the round going?
A: Yeah, I made a couple of par saves on two and three. The one on two was definitely the longest one, and definitely key to keeping that momentum. You can easily lose it on this golf course, but once you have it, you can kind of ride along confidently and make a lot of birdies. But when you lose it, that’s kind of when bogeys creep in, and that’s when things that happened last year kind of happen (laughs). So hopefully I’ll just stay on the positive side of it.
Q: You had a number of putts that just hung right on the lip. Do you feel as though, despite the good score, you left a few shots out there?
A: I definitely feel like it could have been better. But I’m happy with four-under. It’s a solid day, and, like I said, it’s just a good stepping stone for the next three days.
Q: You choke up quite a bit on your driver, and on some iron shots. Is that just for more control?
A: I just started doing it when I was really young, so I’ve just kind of continued doing it and it works really well for me. But yeah, I find that I hit it a lot more accurate that way.
Q: I heard some funny nicknames from the crowd directed towards you. Do you have one? I know the usual Canadian thing to do is just shorten the last name and add a “y.” Maybe “Hendy?”
A: My cousin went by “Hendy,” so I think he sort of took that one. Nothing for me.
Q: I have to mention one last thing. Your sister unleashed a ferocious sneeze out there. I know I couldn’t help but laugh. I’m wondering if you two did as well, and if that sneeze runs in the family?
A: (Laughs) I do not have that sneeze! But yes, we did laugh about it.
Brooke will look to follow up her stellar opening round when she tees off tomorrow afternoon at 1:32 pm, off of the first tee.
Follow along on Twitter @RJMcCullough for real-time updates on Brooke, and others in the field, at this week’s Marathon Classic. I will have a full feature on Brooke Henderson, along with an in-depth interview, posted early next week. Stay tuned!