While Brooke Henderson may only be 21 years old, she is well on her way to becoming one of Canada’s most iconic golfers. In April, the Smiths Falls native brought home her eighth win on the LPGA Tour, tying the all-time win mark for Canadians (both male and female) in the process. Though the young athlete has already carved out a place for herself amongst Canada’s most celebrated golfers, her next win would take her into unchartered territory, cementing her as Canada’s winningest professional golfer of all time.
Where did your passion for golf stem from?
From very early on in life, I always wanted to be at the course with my dad and sister. My earliest golf memories were watching my sister play golf and practicing right alongside of her. I knew I wanted to play golf since I first took it up, and doing something that I could enjoy with my family made it that much better.
In the past you have discussed how your family has played a key role in your success. In fact, your dad is your coach and your sister, Brittany, is your caddie. Does this give you even more motivation to succeed?
My parents and my sister have had the biggest influence on my career. My family means everything to me, and it’s so great to have their support day in and day out. My sister Brittany is not only my caddie, she’s my best friend and a role model for me. My Mom is my biggest cheerleader. My Dad is my favourite coach. My parents made many sacrifices so that I can now live my dream out on the LPGA Tour. I couldn’t ask for better people to share the journey with.
In April, you defended your title at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii, your eighth win on the LPGA Tour. This ties you with Mike Weir, George Knudson and Sandra Post for the most victories by a Canadian golfer. How does it feel to accomplish this at such a young age?
It’s very surreal to even be mentioned as the same sentence as the great legends of the game. They paved the way for me to have so many great opportunities playing out of Canada. While it has always been a goal of mine to get to the record, it is pretty incredible to finally reach that point. Hopefully, I can keep the momentum going!
With your latest win you are ranked (again) in the top ten in the world. Do you still get nervous when the pressure is on and all eyes are on you? How do you stay focused?
You have to find a way to embrace the moment and the pressure that comes along with it. I have learned that life is a process and patience is really important when things seem to be against you. Every day I am trying to be a better person and a better golfer. I set small goals along the way to help stay motivated and moving in the right direction towards my big goals.
What’s the most memorable moment in your career so far?
I’m very fortunate to have quite a few great memories at this point in my career. One that will of course always stand out is winning the CP Women’s Open last year. It was a dream come true for me and an absolutely perfect week. Everything came together so well- the crowds were amazing all week, and it was really the first time that I played my absolute best on home soil. To finish it off with a birdie on the last hole as the crowd chanted my name and sang “O Canada” was really special. It is something I will never forget.
In August, you will attempt to defend your title at the 2019 CP Women’s Open at Magna Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario. Does this event mean more to you than others?
This is definitely an event that I have highlighted on my calendar. Not only because it is our National Championship but also because my long-time partner, Canadian Pacific, sponsors the event. As many of my own family members have worked for CP in my hometown of Smiths Falls, it is truly special for me to be member of the CP family. CP’s support of Canadian golf and the impact CP has on different communities across Canada is a real point of pride for me.
Tell us a bit about CP’s community investment program, CP Has Heart.
The CP Has Heart program is CP’s commitment to improving the heart health of men, women, and children through cardiovascular research and promoting healthy living — something that is very important to me and my family. Since it’s inception in 2014, CP Has Heart has raised more than $16 million toward heart health initiatives across Canada and the United States.
How can spectators get involved?
CP recently named SickKids Foundation as its official charity beneficiary of the 2019 CP Women’s Open. Through its CP Has Heart program, CP will once again make a substantial donation to support local paediatric care. There are a couple ways that fans can get involved at the upcoming tournament through either CP Fan Zones or Birdies for Heart. Birdies for Heart is a fundraising platform, operating in conjunction with the SickKids Foundation and CP Has Heart, that gives fans and spectators the opportunity to raise additional funds and benefit from the number of birdies made by LPGA Tour players on Hole 17. If spectators are looking for a more engaging way to donate to the cause, this is it. Individuals can either donate through a flat rate donation, or by a per birdie pledge.