Five years ago, 15-year-old Brooke Henderson played her first practice round with Lorie Kane. That week, Kane took the lead by showing her fellow Canadian the ropes on the LPGA Tour. Later that week, they walked hand-in-hand up the 18th hole. It’s a moment the pair both remember fondly.
“I’ll tell you, shot for shot I got to see up front and very close how at 15 she would handle herself moving forward,” Kane said Monday. “I am proud Brooke is a Canadian, young female and setting the world on fire.”
Since that first meeting, Henderson has won six times on the LPGA Tour and joined Kane as an ambassador for Canadian Pacific. Monday, they reunited in Saskatchewan at Wascana Country Club, host of the 2018 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. Their relationship has evolved into a friendship and one that has them both comfortable enough to publicly trade jabs with each other, which had the audience erupting in laughter on Monday.
“I’m kind of on the back nine and Brooke is still early into the front,” Kane said laughing about their age difference.
“1996, that was the year before I was born,” Henderson joked with Kane about her rookie season on the LPGA Tour. “Just want to throw that out there.”
But the pair got serious when it came to talk about the elephant in the room.
Neither Kane nor Henderson has won their national championship. In fact, a Canadian hasn’t won the event since Jocelyne Bourassa in 1973. The presence of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open trophy during the media day was very much a reminder to Kane and Henderson of their unfinished business.
“This trophy here has been haunting me all day,” Henderson said laughing. “I really just want to pick it up.”
But in all seriousness, there’s not an event Henderson would want to win more. It was the first professional event Henderson played at 14-years-old, setting the record for the youngest to play the tournament. It was also the first event in which she competed after becoming a member of the LPGA Tour in 2015.
“I’m going to keep practicing later this summer, keep working hard,” Henderson said about wanting to win in August. “It’d really be a dream come true to hoist this trophy someday. And I know Lorie feels the same way.”
In August, Wascana Country Club hosts the CP Women’s Open, where all money raised will support the local Saskatchewan community. The beneficiary of this year’s tournament will be the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital’s pediatric cardiology unit. In the four years CP has been involved in this event, nearly $7 million dollars has been raised to support children’s heart health in Canada. It’s a cause Kane got particularly passionate about Monday as she challenged her fellow Canadians to show their support for this year’s charity.
“This is when I get on my soap box and challenge this province. I know how proud this providence is,” Kane said to the people of the Canadian providence of Saskatchewan. “Donate, so at the end of the tournament week we can present a check like we did last year.”
In 2017, the CP Women’s Open raised more than $2 million dollars for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
The 2018 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open begins August 23.