Brooke Henderson talks Nelly’s dominance and Lexi’s retirement

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There’s no defence in golf, but the goal for every player in the field at this week’s U.S. Women’s Open has to be to try and stop Nelly Korda.

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The world’s No. 1 ranked player has won six of her past seven tournaments, including the season’s first major. Canada’s Brooke Henderson is one player in the field at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania that has the firepower to go toe-to-toe with Korda.

“I feel like I’ve been very close all year,” Henderson said. “She just kind of found a way to get it done, which is really very impressive. I think for me personally I’ve been right there. I’ve been trending in the right direction for a while now, which is really exciting for me.”

Henderson said she’s been around long enough to see several top players have incredible stretches throughout her career.

“At certain times throughout careers, certain players really take off and they get on a run,” Henderson said. “Like Lydia was on a huge run for a long time. Jin Young a couple years ago was winning a lot. So there’s different times throughout a career when players kind of get on a run and they’re talked about a lot. There’s a lot of attention, and they’re doing a lot of good for the game.”

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Henderson is ranked 11th in the world heading into the season’s second major and has finished third three times in 10 starts this year.

“I think every week I’m just trying to be my best and try to make small improvements for me,” she said. “If I can be near the top of the leaderboard come this weekend, I’ll be very excited about that.”

One difference for Henderson is this will be the first U.S. Women’s Open where she can see and won’t have to ask her caddie and sister Brittany where her ball landed. The 26-year-old started playing with glasses last August.

“I’ve always had trouble with my eyesight. I’ve never really been able to see the ball land or certain things since the start of my career, but I was a feel player, so I just really leaned into that feel,” she said. “Then I would just ask my sister, like is that on the green, or is it in the apron, or where is it? So I was really dependent on her for a while. Then I decided I wanted to be able to see where the ball was going.”

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Henderson said the glasses have helped her around the greens with her short game, which has never been her greatest strength.

With 29-year-old Lexi Thompson announcing plans to retire at year’s end, the Canadian was asked how long she can see herself playing, and if she can see herself playing until 40.

“Forty seems like a really long way away,” she said to laughter from the assembled media. “Yeah, that seems like too far. I feel like you never know for sure. I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to play out here against the best in the world.

“It’s been a while. This is my 12th U.S. Women’s Open, so it’s pretty cool. I just try to enjoy every opportunity I’ve been given, and we’ll see how far the game takes me.”

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