Watch Brooke Henderson walk to the 1st tee at Royal Adelaide Golf Club this Thursday and you’ll see a 19-year-old with growing expectations to be the best player in the world.
And the World No. 8 already has a plan to get there.
Despite making the second-most birdies in 2016, the young Canadian wants to play even more aggressively.
“I’m going to try and be more aggressive and hopefully add a few more titles to my name,” said Henderson, the former World No.2 who will make her second appearance in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open this week.
“Being in that number 2 position for a short time last summer was really exciting … watching it slip away was heartbreaking.”
Henderson finished tied ninth at The Grange – a tighter course than Royal Adelaide – in last year’s Open, and is looking forward to a challenging week on the links.
“My three wins on the LPGA Tour were tree-lined and they were very tight courses, so I wouldn’t normally say that links style is necessarily my best,” the 19-year-old said. “So I’m using this week as a challenge.”
Notice her maturity. She understands and appears to be obsessed with the process of getting better.
Despite her age, Henderson is already an Olympian and a major winner – so it’s little wonder people are beginning to speculate her potential as a future World No. 1. And just quietly, she loves it.
“If you’re getting a lot of attention from the media you’re usually doing something right. So that’s really exciting for me. I’m just continuing to grow as a person and also as a golfer,” she said.
When you consider the average age of the top-five players on the LPGA is 22, it’s difficult to find any argument against her possible climb to top spot. Henderson has the game, and she certainly has the temperament. Her
self-confidence also comes with levelheadedness.
“I think everybody out on the LPGA Tour… their goal is to be the number 1 player in the world. And that, of course, is very difficult to do,” she said.
Henderson has stressed the importance for fast starts at this year’s events and emphasised her new aggressive approach.
“For the first two rounds of tournament golf last year I was not necessarily near the top of the leaderboard – I was more conservative,” she said. “This year I want to make faster starts and get better scores the first two days, and then continue that on the weekend.”
When Brooke Henderson does make that walk to the 1st tee on Thursday, she’ll do so with self-expectations that eclipse anybody else’s.
“People’s expectations have definitely grown, but my expectations have too,” she said.