August 3, 2012
Henderson rolls to national title14-year-old Smiths Falls sensation captures 4th major victory of year
By MIKE KOREEN, QMI Agency
Brooke Henderson’s sweet swinging summer is showing no signs of slowing down.
The 14-year-old Smiths Falls golfer overwhelmed the field at the Canadian junior girls’ (under-18) championship this week, going wire to wire for a four-stroke victory over Brogan McKinnon of Mississauga.
“I was hoping for a great year and it’s been pretty great so far,” Henderson said after carding a 1-under 71 Friday, putting her at 13-under for four rounds. “This (championship ranks) very high up there. I’m really excited and I’m really happy I was able to win this.”
It’s the fourth major tourney title of the year for Henderson, who became the youngest known winner of a pro event in June at a Canadian Women’s Tour tournament in Beloeil, Que. She also won an American Junior Golf Association event in Victor, N.Y., and the Ontario junior girls’ championship in Shelburne.
Playing tournament golf for the sixth week in a row at the national juniors, Henderson was the only player to go under 70 in Thursday’s rainy, chilly third round, putting her up by six. The Team Canada development squad player upped that lead to eight at one point Friday, allowing her to coast home.
“She’s done a fantastic job all week,” said Team Canada coach Tristan Mullally, an Ireland native who has spent time working with pro star Graeme McDowell.
“At the end of the day, she’s 14 years old and she’s won the Canadian junior championship. She’s been unbelievable all year ... She’s a supremely talented golfer and she’s proven that this week.”
Mullally said the difference between Henderson and many other good players is her work ethic.
“She’s very motivated to improve and she’s very keen to find out what she needs to do to get better,” Mullally said. “Every single time she’s out there, she’s looking for (ways to improve). She’s a class act and she’s represented Golf Canada unbelievably well.
Mullally sees a bright future.
“She can go as far as she wants to as long as we put things out there that continue to keep her motivated,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to limit her. She’s a great kid, she loves golf and she’s on a great path.”
Henderson is off to Cleveland next week to play in the U.S. women’s amateur championship. Then, she’ll take a rare week off before teeing it up at the LPGA Tour’s CN Canadian Women’s Open at the Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, B.C. Henderson, who qualified for the LPGA tourney by winning the pro event in Quebec, played the Vancouver course at a Team Canada training camp in April.
“I’m hitting the ball well,” Henderson said, “and I’m having a lot of fun.”