Brooke Henderson is the winningest Canadian golfer ever — and she’s still only 21.
The native of Smiths Falls, Ontario, earned that honor by winning the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday in Grand Rapids, Mich., her ninth title overall. She passed her fellow Canadians in Sandra Post, Mike Weir and George Knudson, each of whom have eight PGA or LPGA victories.
On the cusp of history, there was also some relief in the record-breaking victory.
“It’s just an incredible feeling, surreal really,” Henderson said Tuesday, two days after the Meijer LPGA. “There’s been so many talented players that have come before me.”
The fifth-ranked Henderson looks to continue her fair-swinging ways this week, once she tees off at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
But first, she will regroup mentally. Henderson said she plans to take it easy in the days leading up to her start Thursday at Hazeltine National.
“It takes a lot of energy when you’re in contention in the final groups,” she said. “Especially when you’re trying to get it across the line. I think it takes a little bit out of you mentally.”
It helps Henderson is familiar with the major. She won the 2016 PGA Championship in a playoff against Lydia Ko at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash. And in her four career starts at the major, she has finished in the top-10 every time.
“Any major championship is going to test everything that you’ve got, mentally and physically,” Henderson said.
To her new daughter
Stacy Lewis is still getting used to golfing after returning from maternity leave in January, less than three months after she had her daughter, Chesnee. Whether it be the training or traveling or adjusting to motherhood, the 34-year-old said every part of her life’s been a whirlwind.
And with Lewis still fine-tuning the details, she penned a letter to Chesnee, published on ESPN.com on Tuesday.
The letter speaks about the hardships of being a mother and top-class professional — and how it’s possible to be both at the same time. It also showed how much her life changed after having Chesnee, for the better.
“My golf is not the No. 1 priority anymore,” Lewis said at Hazeltine. “That is 100 percent OK. [Chesnee] is my No. 1. It’s about her eating and sleeping and doing everything in the right time. And golf and me and my husband, we’re second now, and that’s OK.”
After years of dominating the competition of the LPGA of Korea Tour, Jin Young Ko is back in a familiar spot. This time, though, as the No. 1 golfer atop the LPGA leaderboard.
But the transition to the world stage means adjustments, whether it be the competition, traveling or, in Ko’s case, the language.
In her quest to better her English, it led her to YouTube, and then some.
“I’m studying English every night at the YouTube and then I don’t know,” Ko said. “I think my English not good so, but I’m always try to think, always try talking English with rest of people.”
Fresh off his jersey retirement with the Twins, Joe Mauer was on the course as part of the Pro-Am tournament. The three-time AL batting champion joined pro Paula Creamer, KPMG executive Sven Holmes and Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk in a foursome.
They were one of the most popular groups out there, followed by a crowd. After each hole, Mauer — who predictably golfs lefthanded, as he bats — would sign hats, golf balls, flags … whatever fans had.