CHICAGO: Canadian teen Brooke Henderson, coming off her first major title at the Women’s PGA Championship, and world No.1 Lydia Ko will meet again at the Meijer LPGA Classic.
Trying to build on her confidence-boosting triumph at Sahalee, second-ranked Henderson will again face New Zealand teen Ko among others at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Henderson birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Ko on Sunday to deny the 19-year-old Kiwi her second major crown of the year.
“I definitely have more left,” Henderson said. “It was definitely a high moment for me. It’s just a good stepping stone in the right direction and I definitely have a ton of momentum and confidence coming off it.
“I’m starting to really get focused on this week and just kind of move on and use it as good confidence moving forward and hopefully get another win in the next couple of weeks.”
She’s still coping with the well wishes from the last win.
“I had tons of emails, Twitter messages, text messages, all of it,” Henderson said. “It was kind of overwhelming a little bit, but I’ve been able to respond to quite a few. Especially back home in Canada, everybody kind of went nuts, which was a pretty cool feeling.”
Henderson followed her victory by appearing at a promotional event for the Portland Classic, where she will defend her first LPGA title in August, and then flying to the American Midwest for her first look at the course.
“Everything is kind of clicking into place and I’m really looking forward to this summer,” Henderson said.
Ko settled for second after having taking the ANA Inspiration title in April but has quickly set her mind on this week’s challenge.
“Playing well last week definitely helps with the confidence coming into this week, but every week it can change,” Ko said. “You have to go back to your basics and just kind of start over as it’s a new week.”
Ko has seven top-10 finishes in 11 tournaments this year and was hailed by Henderson for what she called timeless success.
“She will always be an inspiration to young golfers, to women, even men that play the game and I don’t think that will ever change,” Henderson said. “Her career has been really remarkable. She has proven to everybody that things are possible even though they haven’t happened before. It’s just kind of confidence knowing that she did it, I can do it too.”
Ko has similar regard for Henderson.
“She has been playing really solid all year, a bunch of top-10s, and for her to win her first major, it’s amazing,” Ko said. “And she’s still only 18. I think it’s great.”