Brooke Henderson’s latest LPGA victory has its own unique story | Golf News and Tour Information

Brooke Henderson broke down on Sunday. She had to. After her first two rounds of the 54-hole ShopRite LPGA Classic, she was four strokes off the lead. It would take a score like the bogey-free 64 she posted at the Seaview Bay Course on the final lap to climb the standings to 12 under. Then she waited with the clubhead to see who could top her.

Lindsey Weaver-Wright, in her fifth year on tour, finished birdie-birdie to force the playoffs. For Weaver-Wright, a victory would have been the first of his career. For Henderson, it would be his 11th. Experience prevailed in Galloway, NJ, as Henderson finished the playoffs in a holeshot with an eagle.

“I thought I was too far today,” Henderson said Sunday after the win. “I tried to go as low as possible and see what happened, and here we are.”

It’s the first time the 24-year-old Canadian has won in about a year; her last victory was at the 2021 Hugel-Air Premia LA Open. Since that victory, she has made two big changes to her game. One was forced.

In October 2021, the USGA and R&A announced that the maximum driver shaft length would be reduced from 48 inches to 46 inches. The LPGA and PGA Tours quickly announced that they would enforce the rule. On the LPGA, that meant star Brooke Henderson had to shorten her driver’s shaft.

“The pilot is very unhappy that I had to change. I had to do a lot of extra work, a lot of extra testing and trying to get the right thing,” Henderson said. “About a month and a half ago , I switched again to a new tree which worked great.”

She hit every fairway on her final lap and averaged 264 yards from the tee for the week.

The other change in his game was his putt. Henderson admits that’s an area she needs to work on (she’s ranked 87th on the circuit in strokes won/putts). She set up a new hold, low left hand, and this is her first victory with this hold.

As Henderson spoke of his victory, the value of each win was evident. She joked about not wanting to deposit the trophy. Only 46 women in history have won more times on the LPGA Tour than Henderson, but she feels the value of every win more than ever. After going through seasons with multiple wins, 2020 was Henderson’s first winless season since 2015, his rookie season. In the four events leading up to the ShopRite, she had one out and two missed cuts.

“I’ve always loved a win and never tried to take it for granted, but with the pandemic in 2020 I’ve only played 10 events, and I think I’ve had six top-10s but no win,” Henderson said. “So it was a bit of a…it kind of shook the confidence.”

Now the No. 11 player in the world has a driver that works well for her, a grip she trusts and 11 LPGA wins to her name. Add the winner’s check for $262,500 and she now joins the $9 million club in career earnings. With the next major tournament of the season, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, fast approaching, Henderson repeated one word over and over during her post-round press conference: excited.

Michael C. Ford