(Ottawa, Ontario) – Since the Fall of 2015, the world has known that the 2017 CP (Canadian Pacific) Women’s Open was coming to the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club. In that time Brooke Henderson has transformed from fledging pro to an established LPGA star with four wins, including a major championship, to her credit.
And in that timeline the expectations on her have only grown – from herself and her fan base, and for what may happen this week in Ottawa. You only need to check the billboards and busses around the National Capital to see that she is the face of this championship. Of course, 155 of the other best players in the world will do their best to ruin the party. It is not a coronation after-all, it is a golf tournament where four rounds need to be played to determine a winner.
In the meantime, as the clock counts down to her opening tee shot on Thursday, and a day into the CN Women’s Open festivities, Brooke Henderson says she is still feeling prepared for the days ahead. And she is also surprised by what has gone on so far.
“Yesterday I was in a Pro-Am, Brooke & Friends Pro-Am raising money which was absolutely amazing, ” Henderson shared during a media conference Tuesday afternoon after a practice session. “But the thing I was most surprised about was I was out with my group and we were having fun, and all of a sudden there were hundreds of people watching, and it was a Monday Pro-Am, you know. Still like four days away from competition, and they were out there cheering me on.”
The early audience was startling to the Smiths Falls-raised pro, but in a positive way.
“It was kind of relaxing. It kind of got my mindset on ‘I can handle this’. This is really exciting. I made an eagle on number 9 naturally, and that’s when the biggest crowd was there. I was like, wow, if I can do this today, I think good things might happen on the weekend when I can kind of channel their energy and support for me and kind of use it in my own game and use it to make eagles, to make birdies or to make that clutch par save on the weekend when I really need it.”
Asked whether that matched her expectations from even a few months ago, the 10th ranked player in the world admitted they had changed slightly.
“So I think, if anything, I thought I’d be a little bit more nervous this week. But right now I’m just enjoying everything and trying to embrace it the best that I can.”
In that vein you can sense that she believes that fate and fan support will be on her side this week.
“It’s such an amazing opportunity for me to be able to play at home in our nation’s capital, Canada’s 150th anniversary. CP, I’m a very proud ambassador of them, and for them to support this event as well. Everything’s kind of coming together. I’m also a member here at this Ottawa Hunt Club, so everything’s kind of the perfect fit. I’m really looking forward to four days of competition, and hopefully I can get off to a fast start, and then I can use the enthusiasm and momentum from all the fans and propel me the rest of the week. I’m super excited and can’t wait to get started.”
Henderson will begin her quest for the CP Women’s Open title on Thursday at 8:16 a.m. and Friday at 1:31 p.m. She is paired with Cristie Kerr and So Yeon Ryu.