Brooke Henderson returns to the LOTTE Championship as the only two-time winner in the tournament's history. She left Hawaii victorious back-to-back years in 2018 and 2019. Previously, Henderson clinched her wins at Ko Olina Golf Club. But LOTTE will be hosting its 10th anniversary of the event at Hoakalei Country Club for the first time.
The most accomplished Canadian golfer in history didn't seem bothered by the change. She said, "You know, I love coming back to Hawaii. It's just beautiful everywhere. The surroundings, the ocean, the mountains, the flowers, people are so kind and nice. It's a great atmosphere, and I always enjoy spending time here.”
The 24-year-old has 10 LPGA Tour wins and a major under her belt. But despite some stellar play so far this year, she has yet to pick up a trophy in 2022. Sitting at No.10 in the Rolex Rankings, Brooke leads the field this week in scoring average at 68.826.
Although Henderson didn't place in the top 10 at the Chevron Championship, she said she began to gain some momentum during the third round. Brooke said, "It's always great to play in a major championship, and I didn't play quite as well as I would've liked, but I definitely learned a few things and tried to work on them last week on the week off. I'm looking forward to competing here where I've had a lot of success."
In six starts this season, Brooke has not been outside the top 15 and is excited for the week ahead. “Obviously, I won here twice. I have so many great memories. I love that trophy. So it's great to be back here this week."
Henderson has already started strategizing her attack in Ohau by testing the unfamiliar holes she will face tomorrow. She said, "I think length will be a bit of an advantage on some of the longer holes -- I just played No. 6, and it's playing long, and it's a very skinny green, so it’s probably one of the more challenging holes."
The new course may pose unexpected challenges for the former champion and competitors due to its proximity to the water. Brooke said, "I think the main challenge will definitely be the wind, but I think some of the holes are playing pretty long, too, and I guess it depends on whether it's into the wind or downwind."
She added, "I also feel like the water is in play more than any other course we've played here in Hawaii. That'll be something different and something we'll have to contend with over the next four days. Overall, it's a great golf course. It's in really good shape. The rough is sticky, so maybe stay out of rough as much as you can. I definitely look forward to the challenge this week."
If Henderson can manage the elements, she could walk away with $300,000 in prize money and set the tone for another winning season. Historically, after each win in Hawaii, Brooke has gone on to win an additional title that year.
Brooke said, "It's such a full schedule, and I'm excited to be able to play a lot of events this year with bigger purse money, and I’m really excited for the rest of the year.”