The 75th U.S. Women’s Open is underway at the Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas this weekend (Dec 10-13). And Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls is among the favourites – as she seems to be at every major. Despite playing in only eight of the 16 events in this COVID-shortened season, Henderson is ranked 6th and stands 9th on the LPGA Tour money list. She hasn’t won this season but she’s been right there, posting a top six finish in four straight events.
Who knows? Maybe she’s due for a breakthrough in Texas. This tournament will certainly be a break from the ordinary. For one thing, the U.S. Women’s Open is usually held in June.
“Usually by American Thanksgiving, I’m putting my feet up and taking a break and getting ready for Christmas,” said Henderson. “So, it’s definitely been different but it’s pretty cool. I love Christmas music, so driving to the course it’s actually been kind of calming and relaxing.”
Calmness will be in short supply this week and next (the CME Group Tour Championship in Florida) with a total purse of more than $8 million on the line in the two events.
There’s also a shortage of daylight this time of year. To make sure players can finish their round before sunset, the first two rounds of this event are being played on two different courses, which Henderson says is a little more challenging, both mentally and physically.
“I’m not used to playing 18-hole practice rounds and I just played two on Monday and Tuesday,” said Henderson. “So today I only played nine holes and I felt like a huge relief. It’s been a little bit taxing that way. Then, mentally, (it’s challenging) just trying to focus when you’re out there trying to learn these two courses in a limited amount of time and understand them as best you can.”
At 23, Henderson already has nine tour victories, making her the winningest tour player in Canadian history. Perhaps she’ll make it an even 10 this weekend.
“I feel like this would be the best Christmas present I could give myself,” Henderson said.
Faces now presents Brooke Henderson’s top 5 shots on the LPGA tour.
Long putt from the off the green at the 2016 KPMG PGA Championship
Amazing blind bunker shot at 2015 Swinging Skirts Classic
Hole in one at the 2018 British Open.
Brooke spin doctors this approach in round 3 of the 2019 Buick LPGA Shanghai
Brooke hits it tight on 18 to win the Canadian Open, the first Canadian to do so since 1973