-Brooke Henderson optimistic, will play less to sharpen her game-
w/ Chris Stevenson, The Rideau View Golf Insider
Ottawa, Ontario – Brooke Henderson is the 14th ranked player in the Rolex women’s golf rankings, has a couple of top 10 finishes this season and has cracked $2 million in career earnings.
But the 19-year-old from Smiths Falls admitted to some disappointment on Tuesday at Kevin Haime’s charity tournament at Eagle Creek, if only because last year was such an overwhelming success. Henderson won twice, including a major and defending her title at the Cambia Portland Classic, had eight top 10s in a row and 15 total.
“It’s been a great year, but I’m a little bit disappointed with the golf so far because of last year, but that’s just because last year was such an incredible year. Eight top-10 finishes in my first 10 starts, playing in the Olympics, winning a major, defending in Portland. It was kind of a highlight year,” she said.
“This year, two top-10s, but I feel my game is really close. I’m really enjoying life. We got to travel to Bahamas, U.S., Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Hawaii a couple of weeks ago. We just got back from Mexico on Sunday. I’m just trying to be a little better.”
Henderson led the LPGA Tour with 31 starts last year and 121 rounds played. She wanted to play as much as she could in her first full season on Tour to get a feel for the courses and learn as much as she could about where she wanted to play in the future.
She said she will dial that back a little this season. She said she is going to skip the Walmart NW Arkansas presented by P&G June 19-25 (the week before she defends here title at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship) and the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open July 24-30, the week before the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
Taking the weeks off before a couple of majors is a good move. The majors demand a little more of every player’s mental and physical reserves and going in off a week’s rest is a good approach.
She said she’s taking those weeks off “so I can make sure my focus and my mental strength are where they need to be when I’m out playing. I think taking a few weeks off will keep me energized and keep me really happy when I’m on the golf course.
“It was really busy last year, but I talked to some girls on Tour, too, and you’ve got to do it for yourself. You’ve got to know where your boundaries are, where your limits are. I could play every week. I was fine. I still played great. I think if I want to finish on top a little more, I need some time to rest and get back to how I play well and I think taking some weeks off will do that for me.”
In the meantime, she’s going to keep working on her game.
“I’ll continue to work hard and just stay patient. Golf comes and goes,” she said. “It’s kind of one of those games where some weeks you have it and you can wake up the next day and not. You just got to persevere, be patient and just wait for it to come.”
She’s created a lot of expectations with the brilliant start to her professional career and she’s good with that.
“I do think there are a lot of expectations on me, but I love pressure,” she said. “It’s what you make of it.”
Brooke and sister Brittany, her caddie, are home for the first time since Christmas and Brooke said it’s been a good mental break. She has some corporate commitments this week and will be off to Olympia Fields in Chicago for media day for the KPMG early next week before playing in the Kingsmill Championship presented by JTBC in Williamsburg, VA.
(We will have the full length video from Brooke’s exhibition at the Kevin Haime event posted later this week)
Follow Chris Stevenson on Twitter @CJ_Stevenson for more of his insight.