Canadian golfer Brooke Henderson says New Zealand win highlight of 2017

Canadian golfer Brooke Henderson says New Zealand win highlight of 2017

Brooke Henderson’s victory at the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open came with more than a cash prize and a trophy.

Henderson was given a traditional Maori cloak after winning her first tournament outside North America, and the young Canadian golfer counts that honour as a major highlight of her successful second season on the LPGA Tour.

“That cloak represents that I’m part of that family and it’s hard to think about,” Henderson said from her home in Naples, Fla. ”I’m really proud to own it and be considered part of their family.”

The September victory at the inaugural New Zealand Women’s Open was her second of the season — her first win came at the Meijer LPGA Classic in June — and was a big part of her favourite two weeks of the year. She said she enjoyed New Zealand more than any other of the 11 countries she played in in 2017 and made time for a week’s holiday with her sister (and caddie) Brittany.

Although she admitted she was slow out of the gate this year on the course, Henderson still notched top-15 finishes in 16 of the 30 events she played. She earned more than US$1.5 million and finished sixth on the money list.

She also finished top-10 in two key statistics this year, greens in regulation and scoring average.

“I know my long game has always been my strength, but to see those numbers on weeks when I played well — and some weeks that I didn’t — and to be that consistent… I’m really happy with that,” she said. “Moving into 2018 I definitely want to keep that up, work on my ball-striking this off-season but hopefully improve my short game (and) putting stats. If I can make that happen, hopefully I’ll see even better results.”

The 20-year-old called her season a success, even though she said it was more difficult to win this year versus 2016.

“For a while we had 16 different winners on Tour and no one was really taking charge of it. I feel like the talent and the level of play was a lot stronger than it has been,” she said. “To get two wins when it was like that… it definitely gives me a lot of confidence.”

Henderson also counts this year’s CP Women’s Open in Ottawa as a big highlight.

Although she struggled for the first two rounds — needing a birdie to drop on her final hole Friday just to make the 36-hole cut — she shot the course record at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club during Saturday’s third round, an eight-under 63, to launch into contention. She eventually finished tied for 12th.

Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club gave Henderson an honorary membership last year, and Henderson’s hometown of Smiths Falls, Ont. is less than an hour away from the club.

“I was grateful to make the weekend because I wanted to put on a good show,” she said. “All these people were there to watch me. I loved their support and I really wanted to show them what I could do.

“To have the course record at my home course against some of the best players in the world… that’s awesome. It’s history.”

Henderson said her goal for next year is to move into the top 10 in the world rankings once again after peaking at No. 2 last year. She currently sits at No. 13.

“I almost want to say I know I’m a top-10 player, so it bothers me a little bit that I’m just outside,” said Henderson. “I know that will change quickly. If I get a win early in 2018 and improve on those little things that I want to in the off-season I feel I could get down into a good spot.”

Henderson now has five wins on the LPGA Tour, second to only Sandra Post (eight) among Canadians, a record that could fall next year.

For now, she will appear on some of the Golf Channel’s programming this week before returning to Smiths Falls for the holidays, where that cloak she won in New Zealand might come in handy.

“I might wear it as my winter coat when I go home,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
The Red Deer Rebels will have three new assistant coaches when the WHL regular season starts on Friday. Brad Flynn (left), will be on the bench alongside fellow assistant Ryan Colville (right) head coach Brent Sutter (middle). (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Sutter steps down as Red Deer Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner, GM and head coach Brent Sutter has stepped… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney announced $200 million more money that will benefit seniors living in continuing care on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program expanding

Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program will expand to as many as… Continue reading

Parents and students learned Tuesday what the coming school year will look like. It's pretty much back to business as usual, said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. School precautions include frequent cleaning, keeping students in the same groups where possible, planning the school day to allow for physical distancing and staying home when sick. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s largest school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

CALGARY — Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the… Continue reading

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watches a speaker appear by videoconference during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday, April 9, 2021. Grassroots Liberals have overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution calling on the federal government to develop and implement a universal basic income — despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apparent lack of enthusiasm for the idea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau winds up Liberal convention with election campaign-style speech

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau wound up a three-day Liberal convention Saturday with… Continue reading

Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher makes a shot against Italy at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Men’s world curling championship in Calgary in COVID limbo

CALGARY — The men’s world curling championship in Calgary remained suspended Saturday… Continue reading

Pipes intended for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are shown in Gascoyne, N.D. on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Non-profit Quebec law centre to aid environmental group targeted by Alberta oil firm

QUEBEC — The Quebec Environmental Law Centre is coming to the aid… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives cite empathy, relationships as ways to help expand their movement

OTTAWA — Conservatives should show empathy with Black residents who say they’ve… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. New Democrats are reconvening for the second day of a three-day policy convention as they look to push past the glitches of the virtual event's opening sessions and rally around keynote speaker John Horgan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
New Democrats reconvene as hiccups, frustrations plague national policy convention

OTTAWA — New Democrats reconvened Saturday for the second day of a… Continue reading

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his commitment to the Republican Party — and raise the possibility that someone else will be the GOP's next presidential nominee — in a closed-door speech to donors Saturday night, April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Trump in 2024? He says only that ‘a Republican’ will win

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his… Continue reading

A cruise ship sits docked waiting for passengers to be evacuated in Kingstown, on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Friday, April 9, 2021 due to the eruption of La Soufriere volcano. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
Ash-covered St. Vincent braces for more volcanic eruptions

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — People who ignored an initial warning to evacuate… Continue reading

Owner of 4 Point Taekwondo Kevin Mejia holds a board as organizer and martial artist Kevin Olsen breaks it in Edmonton on Friday, April 9, 2021. One hundred martial artists from around the world, will be breaking a board for an event called "Break for a Breakthrough." The idea is for martial artists to unite and re-engage with the arts because they may have drifted away or lost enthusiasm as a result of the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Break for a Breakthrough: Canadian hosts international martial arts demonstration

EDMONTON — Whether he’s breaking a wooden board, a clay tile, cement… Continue reading

Most Read