‘Ex­tremely close’

Hen­der­son be­lieves she’s close to a sec­ond-year break­out

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY ADAM STAN­LEY

The re­sults have not been com­ing quite as quickly for Brooke Hen­der­son in her sec­ond year on the LPGA Tour.

Hen­der­son has two top-10 fin­ishes through 10 events this sea­son — by no means a sopho­more slump, but well be­hind her pace of eight top-10 re­sults through nine events as a ris­ing rookie last year. How­ever, the con­fi­dent 19-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ont., be­lieves a break­out will hap­pen soon.

“It’s been a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing, some of the re­sults, but I feel like my game is ex­tremely close,” Hen­der­son said Tues­day at an Ot­tawa-area char­ity golf tour­na­ment while mak­ing a rare visit home. “It’s just one or two shots ev­ery week.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited about the up­com­ing tour­na­ments and hope­fully I can switch the mo­men­tum and fin­ish near the top.”

Hen­der­son’s best fin­ish has been a tie for fourth and the HSBC Women’s Cham­pi­ons in Sin­ga­pore ear­lier this year. She fin­ished tied for 14th at the ANA In­spi­ra­tion, the first ma­jor on the LPGA Tour sched­ule in late March. She has her sights set on the other four ma­jors on the cal­en­dar, in­clud­ing the KPMG Women’s Cham­pi­onship, where she will be the de­fend­ing cham­pion.

She played the most out of

any­one on the LPGA Tour last year and said she has been able to ap­ply that learn­ing. She ad­mit­ted she will take two weeks off later this summer to make sure her “fo­cus and men­tal strength is where it needs to be.”

“Play­ing all the cour­ses last year, this year I knew where to hit it. I knew where the good spots and the bad spots were, even in the ho­tels I felt more com­fort­able and the sur­round­ings,” she said. “Ev­ery golf course I see, every­where I go and get to do `more’ it makes me feel bet­ter for this year, and for years to come.”

She said she’s par­tic­u­larly look­ing forward to the CP Cana­dian Women’s Open in Au­gust at the Ot­tawa Hunt and Golf Club. Hen­der­son was re­cently bestowed an honorary mem­ber­ship

to that club, which last hosted the Women’s Open in 2008.

She knows it will be a pres­sure-packed week.

“Al­most ev­ery week I think about the Cana­dian Open in the back of my mind,” she said. “When there are TV cam­eras or crowds around I think about how it’s go­ing to be at the Cana­dian Open and take ev­ery week as a step­ping stone. I know it’s go­ing to be pres­sure filled.

“There are go­ing to be a lot of ex­pec­ta­tions for sure, and I don’t want to dis­ap­point. I want to give them a good show.”

But the pres­sure, she said, is some­thing she’s start­ing to rel­ish.

“I do think there are a lot of ex­pec­ta­tions on me, but I love pres­sure and I think it’s just what you make of it,” she said.

CP PHOTO

Brooke Hen­der­son takes a swing as she takes part in a clinic for ju­niors dur­ing a char­ity golf tour­na­ment in Dun­robin, Ont., on May 9.

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