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Brooke Henderson Set to Compete at the ISPS Handa Australian Open

Brooke Henderson. Photo credit: Golf Australia

Starting tournaments more aggressively is a key plank of Canadian golfer Brooke Henderson’s plan to break into the top five players in the world this year.

Henderson is in South Australia this week for the LPGA ISPS Handa Australian Open. The world No.8 burst onto the world golf scene in 2016 by winning her first Major, finishing in the top 10 17 times and representing Canada at the Rio Olympics.

Henderson finished T21 in the season opening LPGA event in the Bahamas last month but is feeling confident of a strong showing in the Australian Open, where she tied for fourth last year.

She said she now was more familiar with travelling to tournaments around the world and hoped to be in contention from the first round in 2017.

I think the first two rounds of tournament golf last year I was not necessarily near the top of the leaderboard, I was kind of more conservative and then once the weekend hit, that’s when I made a lot of my birdies and kind of made my run,” the 19-year-old said.

“This year I would like to have a little bit faster starts, get better scores the first two days and then just continue it on, on the weekend.

“But I’m going to be a little bit more aggressive and hopefully add a few more titles to my name.”

This year’s ISPS Handa Australian Open is being played at Royal Adelaide Golf Club, less than a mile away from last year’s venue The Grange, also in the South Australian capital, Adelaide.

Henderson said the links-style Par-73 course was in incredible condition and would be tough, especially if the fresh sea breezes hit later in the week as predicted.

“I think placement and having a good caddy with good yardages is going to be really important but hopefully the wind stays down a little bit, like today,” she said on Tuesday.

Fellow Canadians Alena Sharp, Jennifer Ha and Maude-Aimee Leblanc will also play in the tournament, which starts Thursday.

Henderson, who won the KPMG Women's PGA Championship in June, said although it would be difficult to repeat the highlights of 2016, she planned to achieve even greater results.

“I think the expectations have definitely grown but my expectations have too and last year was an awesome year,” she said.

“By the end of 2017 I’d definitely like to be in the top 5.”

Henderson said playing golf in Adelaide and travelling with her sister and caddie Brittany was a different experience.

“Our hotel is right on the beach and we’ve walked the beach the last two nights,” she said.

“Around our hotel, there are shops and restaurants and it’s really cool to be able to experience that because most times you’re just in an isolated hotel and drive to the golf course, whereas here you feel like you’re part of Australia, you feel like you’re part of the atmosphere.

“Last year I got to hold a baby kangaroo, so I’m hoping maybe something like that will happen again. I heard the (Adelaide) Fringe Festival is pretty cool and it’s happening, so maybe we’ll get out to that, you never know.”

Henderson has been drawn to play alongside World No. 1 Lydia Ko and South Korea’s Ha Na Jang in the first two rounds.

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