Laura Henderson-Matthews was a standout golfer at the University of Georgia who contributed to a 2001 NCAA Team Championship. Later, she established herself as one of Canada’s best amateur golfers and coached golf in the NCAA system.
Laura Henderson-Matthews was born on December 18, 1979 in Windsor.
An Essex District High School graduate, Henderson-Matthews won numerous golf tournaments as a junior player before capturing the Canadian Juvenile title in 1995. Playing out of Kingsville Golf and Country Club, she accepted a full-ride athletic scholarship to the University of Georgia, which competes in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
During her four-year playing career at Georgia, Henderson-Matthews established herself as one of the most consistent performers in the program’s history. Perhaps most notably, she is one of only three Lady Bulldogs to earn All-SEC honours during each of her four years of eligibility. (Henderson-Matthews garnered first-team recognition in 1999 and 2000 and attained second-team status in ’98 and ’01.) Furthermore, Henderson-Matthews represented the University of Georgia in every possible tournament during her career, becoming only the sixth golfer in Bulldog history to join the “100 Percent Club.” In 45 collegiate events, Henderson posted 26 top-20 and 19 top-10 finishes. She ended her career with a 75.47 stroke average over 131 rounds. Significantly, she played some of her best golf during the postseason, finishing in the top 20 all four years at the SEC Championships. She also placed among the top 13 individual golfers at the NCAA Championships during her junior and senior seasons and was a major contributor to the Bulldogs’ 2001 NCAA Championship.
After graduation, Laura Henderson-Matthews, as she became known after marriage, enjoyed a three-year spell as an assistant coach at Georgia. Next, she took a job as the head coach at Oklahoma State University. During her four years at that school, Henderson-Matthews produced an All-American and a Big 12 Conference Championship.
While coaching, Henderson-Matthews continued to compete successfully as an amateur golfer. She participated four times in the Commonwealth Games and played two Canadian Opens. She was the runner-up at the Canadian Amateur Championships in 1998, ’99, 2000, and ’03 before winning the competition in ’05. SCORE magazine named her Canada’s top amateur female golfer in 2005 and ’06.