Her final round highlights 👇 pic.twitter.com/FKqYu9sTAZ
— LPGA (@LPGA) April 25, 2021
What made Brooke Henderson’s 10th win on Saturday at the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open especially sweet was the end of what seemed like an eternity between victories on the LPGA Tour.
After first gaining tour membership with a win in 2015, Henderson had been averaging a couple of wins in each of her first four full time seasons, including her ninth title at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids, Mich.
It was nearly two years ago that Henderson’s ninth career win in Grand Rapids put her at the top of the list of all time wins by Canadian tour players as she pulled one ahead of Canadian Golf Hall of Fame members Sandra Post, George Knudson and Mike Weir.
“It’s pretty crazy. To get my ninth win was such a big deal in Canada and since then, I’ve been just trying to chase that 10th one. To get it here, I’m just so happy and it’s hard to believe,” she said.
There were extenuating circumstances between victories, those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that pared down the tour schedule. While there was no win in 2020, Henderson had six top-10 finishes in 10 events. Going into her win in Los Angeles, she had a couple of top-10s in six tournaments this year.
“I feel like I’ve been playing really solid golf and just haven’t had the victory in what feels like a really long time now. I guess it wasn’t really that long considering last year, most of the season, we weren’t playing,” said Henderson.
“Just to get it across the line and to have the work that (sister/caddie Brittany) and I have been putting in pay off and be able to celebrate together and get the 10th win on the LPGA Tour is really incredible,” she said.
After starting the final round four shots behind leader Jessica Korda on Saturday, Henderson’s grit in her come-from-behind win was clear, but she acknowledged some lucky breaks along the way.
Holing out on her chip shot from the side of the green on the par three 12th hole was the turning point in Henderson’s estimation, but an up-and-down for a much-needed par on the final hole was critical, as well.
“I was definitely disappointed that I missed the green, but it was is difficult tee shot and so, when I got over the chip shot, it wasn’t a great lie, and we paced it where I wanted to land it, and Brit was like, It will probably come in a little bit lower, not as much spin because of the lie,” she said of the 12th hole.
“So, I just tried to make solid contact and landed on my spot and to have it go in was definitely a big bonus. It was going pretty hard, so it was a huge momentum change and a huge point in my round today,” said Henderson.
“Yeah, 18 was definitely very clutch. That is not where I wanted that tee shot to be, so to be able to get up and down there for the win was really cool, especially after Jessica made such a great shot and put a lot of pressure on me to make par,” she added.
“I definitely am a firm believer when you’re in the winner’s circle, you’re getting a lot of breaks and it’s sort of meant to be. I was making a lot of birdies and I think probably the biggest break was 12, that chip-in,” said Henderson.
“You know, those breaks can be really small or they can be really big. Sometimes, it’s just missing a divot, or (Saturday), I had tons of opportunity where the people I was playing with showed me the line on putts. They were always just a little bit behind me, so I always had a read on every green. That just only happens when it’s meant to be,” she said.
Getting breaks on the greens is usually a sign of good things to come for Henderson, who admittedly often struggles with the putter, but she noted after Friday’s third round that she was feeling comfortable over putts.
Putting is something she’ll likely be working on over the next few weeks. Even before the win in L.A., Henderson chose to miss the upcoming Asian events on tour and return to her home in Florida
“it’s continuing to be a work in progress, but definitely, this week felt a lot more comfortable. Even (Saturday), I made a lot of great putts and even the ones I didn’t make, I still felt like I hit it where I wanted to, which was a great feeling,” she said.
“Definitely looking forward to some time off and then, just practicing and getting ready for the rest of the season,” said Henderson.