BY her own admission, Kylie Henry has been pretty lucky when it comes to sporting aches and pains down the years. “When I was a kid, I fractured my wrist when roller blading but that was about the only injury I’d ever had,” she reflected. Until now, that is. 

A fractured elbow has kept the two-time Ladies European Tour winner on the sidelines for the last couple of months. And no, she didn’t come a cropper birling about on those roller thingamajigs. 

“I slipped coming out of a bath and down I went,” she added of this painful tumble. “It was a silly accident. The one silver lining was that I only missed the last three events of the year before a long break and at least it can fully heal now before the new season starts again.”

Unfortunately for Henry, those three events were some of the biggest on the Ladies European Tour schedule. Having posted a second and two thirds during an impressive campaign, the Glasgow golfer was hoping to finish 2021 with a bang. It ended up concluding with something of a wincing crack.

“Luckily it was a clean fracture so I didn’t need surgery,” she reported. “I was in a sling and then had to get it moving to get the mobility going so it didn’t seize up. But I’m not hitting any balls and I’m really missing that. I’ve never been out of the game for any length of time. I’m going to the gym to do some leg work and stuff like that just to keep me sane but it’s not the same.”

Up until that damaging meeting of elbow and bathroom floor, Henry had been on course for her highest finish on the order of merit since she reeled off that double-whammy of tour titles in 2014.

The highlight of the season arrived at the French Open where she harried Solheim Cup player Celine Boutier right to the final green only to be pipped at the post when her rival trundled in a raking birdie putt to win by a shot.

“If you are going to lose, you don’t want to leave a sour taste by finishing poorly,” said Henry. “I played as well as I could and lost out to a huge putt. Celine won it, I didn’t hand it to her.”

At 35, Henry is now a sturdy stalwart of the Ladies European Tour and, despite a seven-year title gap, she remains proud of her competitive longevity.

“This was my 12th successive year on the tour,” said Henry. “I’ve never been back at the qualifying school since I earned my card the first time back in 2009. In fact, I’ve never been close to losing my card. It’s been a largely stress-free career and I am proud of the fact I’ve been that consistent over a long period of time. But I’m always striving for better things and expecting more of myself. You don’t just want to be on the tour. You want to be competing. After those two wins in 2014, I wouldn’t have thought I’d go seven years without another one but I still feel I can breakthrough again.”

The 2022 season will feature record prize money on the Ladies European Tour and a bumper diary of 31 events. Not so long ago, the embattled circuit was in dire straits with a ravaged schedule that was as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. Now it’s been given the kind of timely boost you’d get with a shot of the Moderna vaccine.

“It’s a pleasure to receive a schedule with so many events compared to those days in 2017 and 2018 when we were lucky if we had 11,” added Henry, who still has ambitions of playing on the lucrative LPGA Tour in the US. “That wasn’t a season. It was dispiriting. You’d play one event, then have three weeks off, play another event and have two weeks off. Because the chances to make money were so limited, every event carried more pressure. It was hard to play like that but thankfully we got through it. The tour is really on the up now. I’m happy playing on the European Tour. It’s been my home for 12 years. But the LPGA Tour is the top tour in the world. Ultimately, that’s where you want to be testing yourself. Like everybody, I’m just wanting to be the best I can be.”