Ever since she won her 9th LPGA tournament in 2019, Brooke Henderson has been focused on one thing – double digits. On Sunday the Smiths Falls superstar finally hit the mark. A final round of 67 (-4) at the Wilshire Country Club pushed her past a talented pack of pursuers and earned her a 10th victory on the premier women’s golf circuit in the world, at the HUGEL Air Premia LA Open.
The 9th was significant for Henderson, that put her past Sandra Post (8), George Knudson (8) and Mike Weir (8) as the winningest Canadian on the LPGA or PGA TOUR. Ten takes her even deeper into uncharted territory.
Playing in the final group of the day alongside Jessica Korda and Jin Young Ko, the Canadian had four shots to make up on Korda starting on Saturday, but she was up to the task. While she surged, Ko and Korda faltered, leaving the stage to the 23 year-old from Eastern Ontario.
On Friday, Brooke shared that she was feeling a little more comfortable with the club that plagues her, the putter, and it showed late that day, while carrying over to Saturday. Many of her twelve birdies in the last twenty-nine holes of the tournament came courtesy of longer putts. When that happens, combined with her usual world-class ball striking, trophies always come into view. That was the case in L.A.
After Henderson moved into 1st place by a single stroke on hole #11, she had a key moment on the par three that followed.
“I was definitely disappointed that I missed the green there. Fortunately I had a lot of green to work with. My lie wasn’t great, so Brit probably said it’s gone come in low and, hot and it did a little bit. But to catch the hole and make birdie there it was definitely a huge momentum change, and I think that’s probably what won it today.”
Brooke once again leaned on her short game at the last hole where she made a clutch up-and-down to seal her winning margin of one over Korda.
That par gave Henderson a final total of -16 for the four rounds – 69-65-67-67.
The winner admitted that the march to a 10th win was not easy, especially considering as things got tighter near the end on the tricky layout.
“Yeah, it was for sure, especially down the stretch there,” Brooke shared with some emotion after holing out on the last. “I think as I age I’m getting more nerves. But I was just really happy with how I went out today. I was a lot of shots back, but I just said to myself to keep the same game plan and try to make as many birdies as I could.”
She was also relieved to get back to winning, knowing she has been closed multiple times since June 2019 when she last hoisted a trophy. “I felt like I was playing really great golf. It just wasn’t my time. Brit (caddy and sister, Brittany Hendrson) and I been working really hard, and so it’s nice to get the win and get some confidence back.”
That’s not great news for the rest of the LPGA; but for a player like Brooke used to winning multiple times in a year (she’d done it four times), it exactly what she’s been looking for.
Next mark? Trophy #11.
But that will have to wait. Brooke and Brittany will skip the LPGA TOUR’s Asian Swing, like the Korda sisters will.
That means three weeks to celebrate and get ready for what comes next.
“Yeah, it’s kind of worked out really nicely that we decided to not go to Asia. We have three weeks off, and spend it in Florida with my sister and brother-in-law, and I am sure we’ll come up with a few great ways celebrate.
Definitely looking forward to some time off, and then just practicing and getting ready for the rest of the season.”
Brooke Henderson Career LPGA Wins
- 2021 – HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA OPEN
- 2019 – LOTTE Championship, Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give
- 2018 – LOTTE Championship presented by Hershey, CP Women’s Open
- 2017 – Meijer LPGA Classic For Simply Give, MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open
- 2016 – KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Cambia Portland Classic Presented by JTBC
- 2015 – Cambia Portland Classic*