Regina, Saskatchewan – Throughout her career Brooke Henderson has been on a historic timeline. At age 14 the Smiths Falls, Ontario golfer became the youngest winner ever of a women’s professional golf event, at age 15 she became the Number 1 ranked female amateur golfer in the world, and by age 17 she was a winner on the LPGA TOUR. She followed by capturing a major championship the very next year. There has been no shortage of accomplishments in her young career.
At the 2018 CP Women’s Open, at age 20, she set yet another mark by becoming the first golfer to win the Canadian National Women’s Open championship in 45 years. In an instant she became the Princess of The Prairies and the toast of Canadian sport.
She also becomes the first golfer to win the Canadian Juvenile Girls (2012/2013), Canadian Junior Girls (2012), Canadian Women’s Amateur (2013) and the Canadian Women’s Open (2018).
Long ago in interviews she spoke of LPGA dreams and among them was winning the CP Women’s Open, which she has now done in her 7th attempt, after coming so close in Ottawa last year. Multiple times she has mentioned how much it would mean to her to “hoist that trophy” at the Canadian Open and now she has done it courtesy of a 21 under par (66-66-70-65) effort at the Wascana Country Club in Regina.
Henderson held a slim one-stroke margin to begin the final day and, despite the cool and windy weather, doubled it immediately with a birdie on the first hole.
By the time she reached the turn she was two strokes afar of her competitors as a nation was held breathless in anticipation.
On a rainy back nine Henderson, alongside caddie and older sister Brittany, only gathered steam. Buoyed by the crowds deep enough to have many wondering just how many Regina residents were NOT at Wascana, Brooke gave them what they were looking for. In the process she marked off another point on her wish list as she made a flurry of birdies to close out the championship.
“To finish the way I did, with five birdies on the back nine, is really cool. I just tried to stay really focused today and not let it slip away. and you just try to make birdies and stay ahead of the crowd.”
She ended a monumental week in Regina with a four-stroke victory over Angel Yin. More significantly she became only the 2nd Canadian winner of the CP Women’s Open since the tournament was first played in 1973 when Jocelyne Bourassa turned the feat.
She capped it with a fantastic approach on the final hole where the weight of the moment really hit home.
“I knew I had a couple-shot lead, but I knew it wasn’t over yet. I had to hit a good shot in there. And then to hit it to three feet like that and to know that I finally did it, to hear the crowd chant my name, sing “O Canada,” to make that putt was awesome, to get to 21 and 7-under for the round, and then to have my family and my close friends and the LPGA Tour stars come out and shower me with champagne, I mean, I still have some in my ear, so it’s not that fun, but it was just so amazing. You know, walking from 17 over to 18, Alena just gave me a little fist pump, and yeah, I don’t know, it’s an amazing win, and it’s definitely a career highlight for sure.”
The winning moment…
OH CANADA! 🇨🇦❤️ pic.twitter.com/9t7gsNv03w
— LPGA (@LPGA) August 26, 2018
A Dream Come True
“This is definitely a dream come true. I dreamed of this day but never knew it would happen,” said a teary Henderson after receiving the winner’s trophy. “Winning this event, there’s tons of history. I was happy that I was able to break that long stretch without a Canadian winning on the LPGA Tour, and just to look at this trophy and read some of the names on it, it’s really incredible to be able to know that my name is going to be added there, as well.
In typical Brooke fashion, she understands this win is not only big for her, but meaningful for others as well. She lost both her grandfathers this summer, and her family, along with all the Canadians showing her support, were deep in her thoughts on Sunday.
“It’s been a really tough year, so to get this for my family and just for the whole of Canada, I’m really happy.”
And maybe, in the most Brooke-like moment of the day, the young pro ended her time at the winner’s media conference this way.
“I’m the national champion so that’s pretty cool,” she said with that smile that Canada will not be tired of for a very long time.
The only other Canadians to make the cut finished in a tie for 36th (Alena Sharp) and a share of 46th (Anne-Catherine Tanguay).