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.”