By Chris Stevenson @CJ_Stevenson
AURORA, Ont. — It’s not often you see a caddy signing autographs next to their boss.
But that’s what happens when Canada’s Brooke and Brittany Henderson are along the ropes, Sharpies in hand.
Brittany looped for Brooke in the CP Women’s Open pro-am Wednesday (their three amateurs shelled out $45,000 for the privilege of playing with Canada’s all-time major tour wins leader and CP matched it for charity) and afterwards the Hendersons signed autographs along the ropes by the ninth green at the magnificent Magna Golf Club.
It was one last chance to gather intel for the Hendersons’ defence of the national championship Brooke won last year in Saskatchewan.
Brooke was hammering the ball off the tee Wednesday and that’s going to be a big advantage on the Doug Carrick-designed course. There are angles off just about every tee and decisions to be made, how aggressive a line to take.
“Having good lines and some length is going to be an advantage for us, for sure,” Brittany said, but cautioned that’s only part of the equation for going deep at Magna. The greens are expansive and quite undulating, so getting approaches in the right quadrant on the green is going to be just as important.
The greens aren’t quite as firm as the members here would like to see them after an inch of rain the past couple of days.
“The greens are holding so you might see some more aggressive approaches,” Brittany said. “But there are lots of runoff areas, so there are times when you are going to have to be on the conservative side.
“Driving the ball and the approaches are the first two steps and then you’ve got to make some putts.”
“(The greens) are very large,” Brooke said. “I think ball striking will be pretty key. Just making sure because the greens are very large, to pick a small target and be precise on that. I think it would be easy to have some long putts around here and I don’t think you really want that with the slopes and other things happening.
“There are a lot of false fronts, as well. Just being really careful and precise and make sure you’re landing over those and giving yourself good looks at birdies.”
Brooke is a feel player and leaves the strategy to Brittany and their dad/coach, Dave.
“(Brittany) studies the green books and yardages all night,” Brooke said during her media conference on Tuesday. “She’s out on the course right now just taking notes.
“She’s more of the technical strategy and things like that. I’m sort of ‘just give me the number and then I’ll feel my way around the course.’ I feel like it’s a great balance and why we work so well together. We bring different aspects to the game and put them together.
“So far over the last four years I guess it’s been successful and we’ve had a lot of fun.”
The Hendersons are coming off a two-week break after they skipped the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open and then the LPGA had a dark week.
It’s an unusual circumstance for Brooke who is a workhorse.
“To have two weeks off in the middle of the summer is pretty rare, but it was well-deserved,” Brooke said. “I had a strong go this summer and I was looking forward to some rest, down time, to kind of recoup.
“Last week I tried to practice as much as I could to get my game back in good position. I feel like I did that pretty well.”
Brittany is interested to see how it goes after two weeks off.
The Hendersons were riding some good momentum going into the CP Women’s Open at Wascana Golf and Country Club last year. Brooke put together a sizzling 9-under-par 63 in the final round of the Indy Women in Tech Championship heading to Saskatchewan.
“This is really different. We went straight there from Indy and that last round gave us some good momentum. Now we’re coming in with a rest approach, rejuvenated and coming in fresh,” she said.
Henderson will tee off at 7:59 Thursday morning with American Stacy Lewis and Australian Minjee Lee.