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Canada's Brooke Henderson finally back in action at Women's British Open

Brooke Henderson, of Smith's Falls, Ont., shows her playing partner her ball marking on the first tee during the third round of the CP Women's Open in Aurora, Ont., Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. After the longest layoff of her career, Brooke Henderson is back in action at this week's Women's British Open. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
August 19, 2020 - 1:46 PM

The time has come for Brooke Henderson to get back into competitive golf.

Henderson tees off in the early afternoon on Thursday at the Women's British Open at storied Royal Troon Old Course in Troon, Scotland. It's her first tournament since January, a seven-month break that she believes is the longest she's taken from competitive golf since she was in elementary school.

"That'll be fun, I haven't really felt that adrenalin in a little while. I'm looking forward to it," said Henderson, who tied for fourth at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions on Jan. 16 and then tied for 15th in the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio a week later.

Henderson always planned to skip the LPGA Tour's swing through Australia and was on the fence about playing in its Asian tournaments. The COVID-19 pandemic took that decision out of her hands.

"I was happy that I wasn't over there and then after that more things started to get cancelled," said Henderson. "It is unfortunate that this has happened but, at the same time, you can take some positives from it.

"My family's been healthy and hopefully it stays that way and I've been able to do some extra things I don't normally have time for."

That inactivity has seen Henderson fall from the top 10 down to a tie for 37th in the Race to CME Globe standings. A solid performance at Troon, however, should help her move quickly back up the rankings.

"I'm really looking forward to competing again and I'm glad the LPGA has come up with a schedule and a plan to try and keep us players and everybody involved as safe as they can be during this crazy time," said Henderson.

"I'm really appreciative of everyone that's been working hard to get the show on the road."

Always a cerebral player, Henderson enjoyed taking a step back from the day-to-day grind of a professional golfer. Instead of analyzing course layouts and working on her swing she's had time to read books and do more cooking.

"It's very mentally draining playing golf, both on the course and off," said Henderson. "You're constantly thinking of how to improve, how to play the course with maybe a better strategy, you're always thinking and trying to get better that way.

"In this off-time I feel like I've had more mental energy to spend in different ways."

She'll be joined at Women's British Open by Hamilton's Alena Sharp, who has thrived since the LPGA Tour resumed play on July 31 at the inaugural Drive On Championship. Sharp is currently 42nd in the CME Globe standings.

SYMETRA TOUR — Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont., returns from a week off due to injury for the IOA Championship at Morongo Golf Club in Beaumont, Calif. She'll be joined by Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., and Josee Doyon of St-Georges, Que., when the first round tees off on Friday.

PGA TOUR — Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C., as well as Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., and Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., tee off in The Northern Trust at TPC Boston on Thursday.

KORN FERRY TOUR — Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., Vancouver's Stuart Macdonald, and Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont., are all in the field at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship at Ohio State's Scarlet Course in Columbus.

MACKENZIE TOUR — China's Yi Cao was the leader after two days heading into the third and final round on Wednesday in the Canada Life Series at Bear Mountain's Valley Course.

EUROPEAN TOUR — Aaron Cockerill of Stony Mountain, Man., is the lone Canadian playing in the Wales Open, the second of two consecutive events at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales. Cockerill tied for 14th at last week's Celtic Classic.

CHAMPIONS TOUR — Calgary's Stephen Ames carries the Canadian flag this week at the Charles Schwab Series at Bass Pro Shops Big Cedar Lodge.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 19, 2020.

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John Chidley Hill's weekly golf notebook is published on Wednesdays.

Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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