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Canada's Brooke Henderson geared up for demanding four-week stretch of golf

Brooke Henderson poses with her trophy after winning the Evian Championship women's golf tournament in Evian, eastern France, Sunday, July 24, 2022. Henderson is geared up for the most important four weeks of her year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Laurent Cipriani

Brooke Henderson is geared up for the most important four weeks of her year.

The winningest professional golfer in Canadian history will tee it up in the featured group of the Amundi Evian Championship on Thursday, the fourth major of the women's season. She'll then play in the CPKC Women's Open — the Canadian national championship — at Calgary's Earl Grey Golf Club before heading back to France for the Paris Olympics, all in the span of a month.

"It's definitely a huge stretch, so it would be a great time for the game to really show up and be in a good spot," said Henderson, who last played at the Dow Championship where she tied for eighth with partner Lexi Thompson of the United States. "I feel like it's definitely trending in the right direction.

"It was a lot of fun playing with Lexi a couple weeks ago, and she is playing so well and has a lot of confidence right now. I was trying to feed off that and add some of that to my game as well."

She'll be playing alongside reigning champion Celine Boutier of France and 2021 winner Minjee Lee of Australia in the tournament's first and second rounds on Thursday and Friday. Henderson won the fourth major of the season in 2022 and was runner-up to Boutier last year.

"I think it's going to be really fun for all of us in the group to feed off (French fans cheering for Boutier) and be in a really amazing atmosphere," said Henderson. "The show that she put on last year was incredible. Nobody was going to catch her. I tried, but I couldn't keep up.

"She's been playing some great golf and as everyone knows she's a great person as well, so I'm looking forward to seeing how she does here this week."

Savannah Grewal of Mississauga, Ont., is the other Canadian in the field at the Evian. The LPGA Tour rookie said "it still feels surreal" that she's playing in her third major after turning professional in November.

"It's still crazy to me that you know, I'm out on tour now and I get to play in major championships that I grew up watching on TV," said Grewal. "I remember watching Celine Boutier win this tournament last year and now I'm here, playing the holes that I watched on TV.

"Every major I can check off it's just another unreal opportunity to get to go do what I love."

Both Henderson and Grewal remarked on the unique Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France, just by the Swiss border in the Alps.

"This course being built on a mountain, a slope, it's very challenging," said Henderson. "You never have a flat lie. You're always compensating for something and always having to think your way around, which I think is really cool and very unique to this area."

Grewal agreed.

"I've definitely noticed that there's a lot more side slope lies in the fairway than what I'm used to," said Grewal, after spending the day in Switzerland. "Even hilly courses that are in the mountains in North America, they tend to be more so hilly in the sense of up and down.

"Whereas here, everything's leaning toward one side. The front nine, I think everything's kind of leaning left to right and then you have the back nine, where everything's right to left."

EPSON TOUR — Brigitte Thibault of Rosemere, Que., is the lone Canadian in the field at the Hartford HealthCare Women's Championship. She's 128th on the Race for the Card points list. The tournament at the Great River Golf Club in Milford, Conn., begins Friday.

PGA TOUR — Aaron Cockerill of Stony Mountain, Man., the only Canadian player on the European-base DP World Tour, will make a rare PGA Tour appearance at this week's Genesis Scottish Open. Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., is the highest-ranked Canadian in the lead-up event to the British Open. He's 33rd on the FedEx Cup standings. Corey Conners (35th) of Listowel, Ont., Nick Taylor (43rd) of Abbotsford, and Mackenzie Hughes (51st) of Dundas, Ont., are also in the field.

KORN FERRY TOUR — Myles Creighton of Digby, N.S., is No. 23 on the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour's points list heading into this week's The Ascendant. Edmonton's Wil Bateman (35th), Etienne Papineau (53rd) of St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., Sudarshan Yellamaraju (106th) of Mississauga, Ont., and Jared du Toit (122nd) of Kimberley, B.C., are also in the field at TPC Colorado in Berthoud, Colo.

CHAMPIONS TOUR — Calgary's Stephen Ames is still No. 1 overall on the Champions Tour. He hopes to build his lead on the senior tour at this week's Kaulig Companies Championship starting Friday. Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., is No. 25 on the Schwab Cup points list heading into play at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

PGA TOUR AMERICAS — Matthew Anderson of Mississauga, Ont., is second on the third-tier tour's points list heading into the Explore NB Open. There are 18 Canadians in the field at Mactaquac Golf Course in Fredericton, N.B.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2024.

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

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