Brooke Henderson headlines stacked field for next month’s CPKC Women’s Open at Shaughnessy

The early commitments include current world No. 1 ranked Jin Young Ko, as well as 20 of the top 25 on the LPGA Tour Money List.

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Brooke Henderson certainly seems at ease as your headliner.

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She was front and centre at the CPKC Women’s Open media day Monday at the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club, helping promote the Aug. 22-27 tournament at the Vancouver course.

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Henderson played well off of Musqueam Indian Band councillor Howard Grant in the press conference. Henderson and her LPGA cohorts took part in the U.S. Open at picturesque Pebble Beach last week and Grant lightheartedly did his best to promote the virtues of Shaughnessy, talking up “the mountains in the background, the Salish sea and handsome Musqueam Indian men.”

Henderson later reported that Pebble Beach’s “views were spectacular … no handsome men, though,” and that got a hearty laugh from the crowd on hand.

Brooke Henderson of Canada tees off during the third round of the 78th U.S. Women's Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on July 08, 2023 in Pebble Beach, California.
Brooke Henderson of Canada tees off during the third round of the 78th U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on July 08, 2023 in Pebble Beach, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw /Getty Images

Henderson went on to admit that she didn’t know much about the Shaughnessy course and “that any hints or tips would be welcomed.” And she said that “it is still pretty cool to be famous,” taking a little poke at herself and a quote she made in 2015 at the CPKC Women’s Open at the Vancouver Golf Club when she was coming off her first LPGA Tour victory in Portland and being granted a full LPGA membership by commissioner Michael Whan.

The 25-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ont., is a 13-time LPGA Tour winner. This is far from her first rodeo. Henderson comes off comfortable as a central figure in her sport and helping things move forward.

“I’ve definitely got a lot more used to it, which is a good thing,” Henderson said of the demands. “I feel like the CPKC Women’s Open week is probably the most attention I get all year. I’ve learned to organize and strategize how I go about that week. I make sure that I get the proper rest, proper practice time. I think it’s all been a part of a learning curve. I’m just trying to learn and grow and get better in all areas of the game on and off the course.”

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Henderson won the tournament in 2018, when it was held the Wascana Country Club in Regina. She was joined Monday at Shaughnessy by reigning champion Paula Reto, a 33-year-old South African who took the title last year at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.

They are among eight former CPKC champions slated to compete this time around, including three-time winner Lydia Ko (2012, 2013, 2015). The early commitments include current world No. 1 ranked Jin Young Ko, as well as 20 of the top 25 on the LPGA Tour Money List.

The tournament was supposed to be at Shaughnessy in both 2020 and 2021 but it was called off both times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It feels like a lifetime ago when we were here in August 2019 to announce that we going to host 2020 CPKC,” tournament director Ryan Paul said on Monday. “The two cancellations were gutting, and especially the second one. We thought that we were going to be able to make it work. The LPGA was happening. Events were going on. It felt like we were the only ones in North America left on the sideline.”

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Paul admits there are silver linings, that various facets have improved since the tournament was originally supposed to grace Shaughnessy. Among the new touches is the Rink Hole. It was introduced last year in Ottawa and the hockey-themed setup, complete with arena sideboards for fans to pound and volunteers dressed up as referees, will be situated at the par-3 No. 17 hole at Shaughnessy.

“In some ways I’m glad that we’re able to put on a show in 2023 versus 2020,” he said.

Among the other announcements Monday was that CPKC had extended its deal four more years with Golf Canada, meaning that it now runs through the 2028 tournament.

As part of the extension, the prize purse for the tournament jumps to $2.5 million US beginning with this year. That’s up from $2.35 million US last year.

Since becoming the title sponsors in 2013, CPKC has established the CPKC Has Heart, a charitable legacy that has raised more than $17.3 million for heart health initiatives in the event’s host communities.

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reference: theprovince.com

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