Planet Golf — 09 June 2016 by Jim Street
Henderson aces No. 13 and wins a car

SAMMAMISH, Wa. — It didn’t take long Thursday morning for Canada’s Brooke Henderson to put herself in the driver’s seat of the KPMG Women’s PGA championship at Salahee Country Club.

Actually, she put her caddie in the driver’s seat.

An 18-year-old LPGA Tour rookie, Henderson started the first round on No. 10, going par, par, bogey. On her fourth hole, the 155-yard, par 3 13th, she put a 7-iron in her hands and the ball in the cup for a hole-in-one.

A brand new KIA K900 came with the ace.

But instead of keeping the car for herself, Henderson was good to her word and donated it to her older sister and caddie, Brittany.

“I told her earlier in the year that if I get (a car-winning ace), it’s yours,” Brooke said. “I didn’t say it this week, but she gets it.”

Until Thursday, Brittany did not have a car.

“I do now,” she said, smiling.

Asked to describe the shot, Brooke said, “I pulled it a little, but I knew it was going to be on the green so I was happy. It caught the left and followed right into the hole.”

“I don’t know who was more excited, her or me,” said Brittany. “It was probably a tie.”

The first hole-in-one in Brooke’s brief LPGA Tour career was the fourth in her young life.

The most recent one also highlighted Henderson’s 4-under 67 opening round on the tight, tree-lined 6,624-yard course.

“It was a pretty good day today,” she said. “The hole-in-one was awesome. That gave me momentum for the rest of the day.”

Although she wobbled a bit after the turn, going 1-over in the first seven holes on her inward nine, she birdied the 8th and 9th holes to finish strong.

“I was 3-under at the turn,” she said, “and got a little shaky. I hit a couple of bad drives, but was able to scramble.”
Having her sister on the bag, she said, helped get her back on track.

“I love her having her there,” said Brooke, who is ranked No. 4 in the world. “She is a great support system for me and we spend a lot of time together, on and off the course. We have an amazing friendship and it works out really well.”

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Jim Street

Jim’s 40-year sportswriting career started with the San Jose Mercury-News in 1970 and ended on a full-time basis on October 31, 2010 following a 10-year stint with MLB.com. He grew up in Dorris, Calif., several long drives from the nearest golf course. His first tee shot was a week before being inducted into the Army in 1968. Upon his return from Vietnam, where he was a war correspondent for the 9th Infantry Division, Jim took up golf semi-seriously while working for the Mercury-News and covered numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Open in 1982, when Tom Watson made the shot of his life on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. Jim also covered several Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournaments, the women’s U.S. Open, and other golfing events in the San Francisco area. He has a 17-handicap, never had a hole-in-one, although once he came within two inches of an ace, and witnessed the first round Ken Griffey Jr. ever played – at Arizona State during Spring Training in 1990. Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Kapalua Plantation Course, Pinehurst No. 2, Spyglass Hill, Winged Foot, Torrey Pines, Medinah, Chambers Bay, North Berwick in Scotland, and Princeville are among the courses he has had the pleasure of playing. Hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway is not a strong part of Jim’s game, but he is known (in his own mind) as the best putter not on tour. Most of Jim’s writing career was spent covering Major League baseball, a tenure that started with the Oakland Athletics, who won 101 games in 1971, and ended with the Seattle Mariners, who lost 101 games in 2010. Symmetry is a wonderful thing. He currently lives in Seattle and vacations in Arizona (and other warm climates) as much as possible.

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