A large crowd of fans followed Brooke Henderson around Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club during her Tuesday morning practice round before the CP Women’s Open. But it was nothing compared to the record-setting crowds to come. To date, 70,000 tickets have been sold and walk-ups are still welcome and encouraged.
“The last few years have been really tough on everybody, so I think it's amazing that the tour is back in Canada playing after such a long time,” Henderson said. “Hopefully just lots and lots of people come out and we can really celebrate that things are moving forward and getting a little bit back to normal.”
The CP Women’s Open was last played in 2019, with Jin Young Ko earning the victory and Henderson finishing tied for third. She won the tournament the year prior, becoming just the second Canadian to win her national title, and seems to have a dominating performance every year, even if the Open’s last trip to Ottawa gave her a little fright.
“In 2017 (at Ottawa Hunt) I had to make birdie on Friday afternoon to make the cut,” she laughed. “But then I went on to post a course record on Saturday, which still stands.”
Henderson’s game is undoubtedly in top form as she heads into her sixth CP Women’s Open. This season, she added a second major victory to her resume at the Amundi Evian Championship and an additional Tour win at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer. She is the only player on the Tour this season to be ranked in the top-10 in both strokes gained off the tee and strokes gained approach and she has been increasingly approving on the green all season.
“The last few months have been a lot of fun. I feel like my game has been in a really good spot,” she said. “Hopefully I can just kind of keep that momentum and the confidence level at a high for a while, kind of get off to a fast start and continue to ride the wave of playing well.”
Of all her victories, the winningest professional golfer in Canadian history said she is most honored to have the CP Women’s Open trophy as part of her collection. And now, with a home-field advantage of sorts – Henderson is an honorary member at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club – she is ready to earn another one. How will she do that? By finding the right balance between enjoying the event and competing in it.
“I want to enjoy this as much as I can, because it's pretty cool to be playing against the best players in the world and see my posters up everywhere and to have the crowds that I have had even in the practice rounds, and I'm sure will be even bigger,” she said. “But really, I have a job to do, so I'm going to try to do to it the best I can. It's amazing to have this opportunity and to have a chance to be in contention and to hoist another trophy.”