Brooke Henderson fires up home fans by capturing CP Women’s Open

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Brooke Henderson fires up home fans by capturing CP Women’s Open

LPGA Tour

Brooke Henderson fires up home fans by capturing CP Women’s Open

It was a walk so few get to savor. Brooke Henderson, 20, became the first Canadian to win the CP Women’s Open since Jocelyne Bourassa in 1973. The four-stroke victory over Angel Yin allowed Henderson to soak up the atmosphere in rainy Regina, where fans were packed 30 deep to see one of the nation’s most popular sports figures triumph on home soil.

A poised Henderson put the hammer down on the closing nine, carding four consecutive birdies en route to a sparkling 65. Henderson embraced older sister Brittany, who has been by her side nearly every step as a pro, and then enjoyed a champagne shower provided by their father, Dave.

“It’s been a really tough year,” an emotional Henderson said. “So to get this for my family and just for the whole of Canada. I’m really happy.”

Henderson pulled out of the U.S. Women’s Open when her maternal grandfather, Bob Moir, took a turn for the worse during a brief battle with cancer. Moir died at the age of 81. Her paternal grandfather, Clem Henderson, died on Aug. 5, the final round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at age 85.

“I feel like once I get inside the ropes, I can kind of let that go and know that my two grandpas that did pass away, they’re always cheering me on and looking on from heaven,” Henderson said. “That kind of gives me that little bit extra boost.”

Brooke’s Brigade was out in force in Wascana Country Club, where the course turned to ice over the winter, forcing a massive re-sod. Henderson rewarded their efforts with a storybook ending.

Even Yin, a young American oozing with talent who is only beginning to mature, couldn’t blame the polite crowd for being one-sided.

“Of course they were cheering Brooke on,” the good-natured Yin said. “But I don’t want to get them thrown out of the country for cheering for me.”

This marks Henderson’s second title of 2018 and seventh overall, moving her one win shy of tying Sandra Post for most victories by a Canadian player in LPGA history. On the PGA Tour, Canadians Mike Weir and George Knudson have eight titles.

The rain-soaked crowd gathered around the 18th shouted Brooke’s name after she clinched the title and then broke out in a stirring rendition of “O Canada.”

“There were tons of juniors and tons of people out just to watch,” Henderson said. “And I feel like they were really motivated and inspired, and that’s really all you can ask for.”

(Note: This story appears in the September 2018 issue of Golfweek.)

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