Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ontario has momentum on her side headed into the last event of the 2021 LPGA season.
After a month’s break, much of it spent at home in Canada, the 24 year-old returned to the tour this week and rang up a 5th place finish at the Pelican Women’s Championship. It was her 7th top-ten finish of the year.
Playing at the Pelican Golf Club in Bellaire, Florida, she turned in scores of 67-69-65-65, fourteen-under-par. making for a tidy appearance right before the upcoming CME Group Tour Championship.
“It was a really nice week,” the ten-time LPGA winner shared after her final round. “Nice to finish off well today. Made a lot of birdies, and it got really tough there on the back nine, strong gusts of wind. Happy to shoot 5-under today and climb up the leaderboard, and hopefully it’s a good sign for next week.”
Henderson had a full team of support at Belleair, with both sister and caddy, Brittany, and her parents Dave and Darlene, on hand.
“I feel like Brit and I were working really well today judging the conditions, and also we finally made some putts, and that felt really great.”
As for Dave Henderson, Brooke was all smiles about having dad and coach, around for the first time at an event in quite awhile.
“It’s great. I have definitely missed my coach in person for the last two years. Virtual is great, but in person is so much better. So it’s nice to have him back. I feel like it just gives a lot of confidence for Brit and I. I’m just excited that they’re here. Hopefully, like I said, have another good week next week.”
Henderson says her coach assisted with some strategy this week, pointing out some targets on the greens. She says that helped keep her extra calm coming down the stretch on Sunday.
After picking up $72,999 on Sunday, Henderson moved over the $1 million dollar mark for season-long earnings for the 5th time, but she already has her eyes focused on the $1.5 million up for grabs this coming week in Naples, where she has a home.
“I had about a month off after Founders Cup, so I feel well rested and ready to go. Also next week is kind of like a home game for me. Get to sleep in my own bed, which is great. So I’m really looking forward to it.”
Another element Brooke says he is looking forward to is the fans, something she says she draws energy from. She’s hoping they’ll be part of the boost she needs to contend for the big purse at the season-ending event.
“Definitely the fans and definitely sleeping in my own bed,” she reiterated when asked what she was looking forward to the most for next week.
And maybe the money, as well.
“What an amazing opportunity it is to play for that purse and for the first place prize of $1.5 million. That can change a lot of lives. So hopefully go and play well and see what happens.”