Brooke Henderson loves breaking records and this week she’s got a dubious one hanging over her head.
Since 2016, no LPGA Tour player has won the opening tournament of the season and then collected a second title in the same year. Henderson, from Smiths Falls, Ont., kicked off 2023 with a victory at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions on Jan. 22 and is in the field at this week’s CME Group Tour Championship, the climax of the professional women’s golf season, still looking for her second victory of the year.
“It’s a really weird stat that I don’t like very much,” said Henderson with a laugh. “I thought I would break it earlier but maybe it kind of got in my head a little bit.
“This would be the perfect week to break that and bookend the season; win the first one, win the last one, that would be obviously ideal.”
Henderson is the only Canadian in the 60-golfer field at Tiburon Golf Club’s Gold Course in Naples, Fla.
She enters the tournament ranked 14th in the CME Globe rankings.
At last year’s CME Group Tour Championship, Henderson had an outside shot at concluding atop the standings, but was hampered by a back injury. Instead, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko won the event and the season’s championship.
“The off-season, for me last year was huge,” said Henderson. “I put in a lot of work to strengthen and heal and it has really paid off.
“Knock on wood, I don’t have the issues that I had last year. That was another thing coming into this week: I was really excited that I’m a lot healthier than where I was this time last year.”