Bob Weeks: Brooke Henderson is ready to return at U.S. Open

Brooke Henderson is ready to get back to work.

After taking time away from the LPGA Tour, the Canadian will return to action at this week’s U.S. Open.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back out there,” stated Henderson. “When you’re not feeling well, trying to compete against the best in the world can be really difficult. Listening to your body and knowing when to take a step back is key for any athlete. I am feeling better and can’t wait to see the fans out on the course.”

Henderson, who did not reveal the nature of her illness, last played at the Palos Verdes Championship at the start of May. She missed the Cognizant Founders Cup and had always planned to take a pass on this week’s Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play Championship.

Prior to her time off, she uncharacteristically withdrew from one tournament and then missed the cut in two consecutive starts, the first time she’s done that in her career. The slip in play and the time away left her fans wondering.

Now she’s prepared to return to the course and said her game is in good shape.

“Things are going well,” Henderson said. “I’m rested and ready to go. I’ve been working diligently on my game and looking to build off of the positive momentum I had from some nice finishes earlier in the year. Hopefully, I will be able to get off to a nice start next week and go from there.”

It won’t be an easy return. The U.S. Women’s Open is annually one of the game’s most arduous events. This year’s tournament is being contested at the Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Resort in Southern Pines, N.C.

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“It is definitely one of the toughest tests both mentally and physically,” said Henderson. “U.S. Open courses always tend to be a bit longer with difficult greens. Having a good game plan and executing that plan will be key for me this week.”

This will be Henderson’s 10th appearance at the major championship. She’s finished inside the top 10 three times, including a tie for seventh last year.

Prior to her time away, Henderson was forced to change drivers. For most of her career, she used a 48-inch driver and gripped down on it, a habit she developed as a youngster, playing with her older sister Brittany’s longer clubs. When the LPGA Tour adopted a rule limiting the length of driver’s to 46 inches, Henderson had to change her club, a process which took some time.

In addition to playing four majors over the next two months, the 24-year-old will be the main attraction at the CP Women’s Open, scheduled for Aug. 25-28 at the Ottawa Hunt and Country Club, just a short distance from her home town of Smiths Falls, Ont.