For the second straight week on the LPGA Tour Brooke Henderson did not have the Sunday finish she was hoping for. Like all pros, even if they are just 17 years old, the goal at tournament end is to be the one holding the trophy.
That scenario has yet to play out for the Smiths Falls, Ontario golfer on the LPGA Tour, but she’s making those watching believe it’s just a matter of time. And she’s learning a lot in the process.
Sure, she could have been prepping to start at the University of Florida this Fall but she chose to turn pro. In doing so she’s chosen to educate herself by mixing it up with the best golfers in the world. Which, by her rising Rolex World Ranking alone, she can now call her peers.
The former #1 amateur golfer in the world unfortunately slid down the leaderboard in the final round of the Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout today, derailed partially by an out of bounds 2nd shot on a par five early in the round. Her final lap of 73 strokes left her in a share of 13th place. It followed a solo third place finish at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.
Although disappointed with the outcome, the young pro took something out of the week, one that started with her qualifying to play. “You know, my back nine was really good. It was just a couple of holes on the front nine just sort of got me, and bogey, double bogey, and after that I knew that I had just had to keep grinding it out and try and get the best finish that I could. And I’m proud of the way I played on the back nine because it was tough out there, and I made a lot of up and downs to save par and was able to make birdie on 10 and birdie on 18.”
The dizzying pace of the last two weeks aside, Brooke had nothing but good to say about it. “I really enjoyed it, and I got to play with some awesome players, and just another opportunity to play against the world’s best and being out here on the LPGA, I love every minute of it.”
Although she is playing this season without status on any tour, in three starts on the LPGA the Team Canada Young Pro Squad member has banked $161,557 in earnings. It’s still $286,000 less that she will need (unless she wins) to get in the ballpark of the 2014 Top 40 money leader category where she can apply for tour status but she’s on a very positive pace.
Henderson will not add to that total this coming week, she’ll be in Cambridge, Ontario on Monday for a Media day for the Manulife LPGA Classic before heading to South Carolina to play the part of looper for her older sister, Brittany, on the Symetra Tour.
After that though, she’s hoping to get back to work on the LPGA Tour. It’s just over a week until the Kingsmill Championship and the possibility exists that she will get her next start there. “Yeah. I’m really hoping. Fingers crossed,” said the teen that is growing in popularity with golf fans. “But I know I’m in ShopRite and Manulife.”
The latter are the events that directly follow Kingsmill.
Throughout this fabulous run Henderson has continued to reiterate that no matter her status, or the potential for it, she is looking at it all as a learning experience.
“Yeah, for sure. Like I said, a lot of experiences and I’m learning a lot. So I can’t say anything bad about them.”
There is a lot to come in the weeks ahead for Brooke; she still has guaranteed starts at the U.S. Women’s Open and the CP Canadian Women’s Open on her dance card. That schedule will likely balloon a little more as sponsors make the no-brainer decision to extend an invite to their teen who has caught the attention of the golf world.
Will she do enough to prompt her team to petition LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan for status on tour? Nobody can predict that for certain but she’s trending in the right direction.
This is Brooke Henderson’s school of golf. And right now she’s definitely at the head of the class.