Many were surprised to see a bespectacled Brooke Henderson getting some early-week practice in at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club ahead of this week’s CPKC Women’s Open in Vancouver, Canada. The 13-time LPGA Tour winner has always worn sunglasses on the golf course but has never been known to don a pair of prescription lenses while competing, a choice the two-time major champion isn’t making too big a deal about as she readies to compete in her national open.
“I've worn glasses off the course for a long time, but I've never played with them, so it was a bit of a change,” Henderson said of her new accessory. “It was just time that I wanted to be able to see things a little bit better and maybe not depend on Brit (Henderson, her sister and caddie) so much. I started practicing with them last week and seemed to go pretty well. This will be the first week in competition. It’s really nice to be able to see some things. Hopefully, it gives me maybe not an advantage but helps me improve my game a little bit.”
While the glasses are the last thing on Henderson’s mind this week, winning again in her home country is very much in focus for the Smith Falls, Ontario native. She took home her first and only CPKC Women’s Open title in 2018 at Wascana Country Club in Regina, Saskatchewan, and now five years on from that historic win, she is hoping to wow Canadian fans once again with another impressive victory.
“It's crazy that it was five years ago. I feel like here on Tour time goes by really quickly,” said Henderson, who won by four shots over Angel Yin in 2018. “I still remember so many details of that rainy, windy, cold Sunday in Regina. It was a highlight, and I'll always remember how special that was. I kind of get goosebumps even just thinking about those special moments back five years ago. I would love the opportunity and the chance to repeat it.”
After getting off to a fast start early in 2023 with a wire-to-wire victory at the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, the 25-year-old has struggled, missing five cuts and only finding the top 10 once since that win, finishing solo second at The Amundi Evian Championship as defending champion. In addition to that bright spot in France, she has recorded three other top-15 results this season, tying for 11th at the LOTTE Championship presented by Hoakalei, tying for 15th at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and finishing solo 12th at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
But while this year hasn’t been up to par with Henderson’s standards, the LPGA Tour veteran has grinned and borne it, choosing to glean every positive she can from what’s been an up-and-down 2023 season. And it’s that upbeat attitude that has helped to carry her through the challenges and allowed Henderson to make lemonade out of lemons that would put any other player in a sour mood.
“To start out on such a high was amazing, and I'm really happy that I took some pressure off early. Winning every year is a big goal of mine and I would like to win twice, so hopefully the second win is coming up here soon,” Henderson said. “I haven't had as many top results as maybe I would've liked, but I feel like I'm learning a lot this year and continuing to grow as a person and a player. I think that's the main goal, continuing to grow and try to get better all the different ways you can.
“Finishing second at Evian where I was defending champion, that was really cool. It was a lot of fun to be back in contention and shooting low scores and playing great golf. Celine played amazing and I just couldn't catch her. Nobody could. To be in the final group again and feeling that energy was a big boost. Hopefully the next few weeks here – I'm playing three in a row – I can get that feeling again.”