Semifinal Interview With Brooke Mackenzie Henderson

August 9, 2014

Q. So congratulations, you made it to the finals of the US Women's Amateur.  How do you feel?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  Oh, it's amazing, and I'm really excited to play tomorrow.  As I said earlier, I still have a lot of work to do.  It's exciting to be in the final.  Best finish previous to this week was round of 32, so it's great to have a chance to win and contend for the title.

Q.  You talked yesterday that yesterday was the first time you made it to 18.  You did it again today.  You had a great opponent in Hannah.  Tell us how you felt throughout your match today.

BROOKE HENDERSON:  Yeah, she was playing really well, and she's a great player, and she has a great future ahead of her.  It was a lot of fun out there.  I made a couple mistakes early that got me 2‑down, but I was able to fight back, and that's really key to learn how to do that.

Q.  You got down, you were down early, down 2.  Tell us what happened there and how you brought yourself back into the match.

BROOKE HENDERSON:  Three‑putted the first hole, wasn't the brightest thing to do, but then Hannah made a great birdie on the next hole.  2‑down after 2 is not the start that you're really looking for, but like I said, to be able to fight back, it means a lot, and it's sort of a confidence booster going into tomorrow.

Q.  You took your first lead about halfway through the match.  Tell us about that one if you don't mind.

BROOKE HENDERSON:  Yeah, it was a chip‑in to take the lead.  My short game was great all day.  I made a lot of shots that even I was saying like get it within 10 feet and just try and make the putt, and I was able to squeeze it inside five feet and made it a lot easier on myself and even added a little more pressure on Hannah.  Overall I can't complain about my short game.  Usually that's one of my weaknesses, but today it was definitely my strength.

Q.  About how far was that chip‑in?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  It was probably 18 yards or so.  I was trying to land it just 12 and I was able to land it where I wanted to, and it went right in.

Q.  Was that from the rough or from a bunker or elsewhere?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  It was just on the fairway, just short of the green.

Q.  I think I heard you guys got warned about pace of play.  Does that affect you at all?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  Yeah it did for sure.  The next couple holes I felt a little bit rushed, but that's okay, you've got to do it.

Q.  Can you talk about your up‑and‑down on 15?  You had a few clutch ones as you mentioned.  It's a little delicate from behind the green there.

BROOKE HENDERSON:  Yeah, it was a tough shot, downhill, really thick lie.  My ball was sitting up but there was still a lot of grass around it, and I had 15 feet for birdie, so it was a must‑make par, and I don't hope bad on anybody, but walk away with two pars was what I was trying to do, and it worked out.

Q.  14th hole when you saw the ball rolling back down the slope, what were you thinking?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  I was like, oh, that was a huge mistake, but it worked out, I chipped in.

Q.  What did you hit in on 18 here?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  I hit 9‑iron.  It was 114 yards.  It was a little into the wind, and I just took a little bit off of it.

Q.  Do you know much about Gillman?  Have you ever played with her?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  No, I talked to her the first time the other day in the locker room.  She seems like a really nice girl, and obviously she's playing really well, so it'll be a lot of fun tomorrow.

Q.  What are your thoughts on tomorrow?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  Definitely going to play my game, be smart about decisions.  Match play is really different from stroke play.  You've got to be really careful and smart, like I said, and I've been playing really well all week, and hopefully that will continue for tomorrow.

Q.  Have you ever played a 36‑hole final at any point?  Is there a match play that's that long?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  I don't think so.  This is the first one.

Q.  Thoughts on that?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  It'll be a long day, but it'll be fun.  I think it's good so that someone doesn't get hot just the first 18 holes.  I think it allows the better player to really come out in the end.

Q.  You're one of the strongest players to come out of Canada in a while.  The last Canadian to win this championship was Cathy Sherk in 1978.  What does it mean to play with Canada on your shirt and to play for your country?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  It's really cool.  I'm playing for the national team.  I get to represent my country everywhere I go and every tournament I play in.  I'd love to get my name next to that trophy with Cathy Sherk.  Yeah, I'm just really excited for tomorrow, and hopefully I'll represent Canada well.

Q.  You said you met Gillman in the locker room earlier this week, but had you heard of her before?

BROOKE HENDERSON:  I don't think I have.  I don't play a lot in the States.

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