Just when you began to wonder what Brooke Henderson will do next she has completed what would be an exhausting run of activity for many others with a victory on the Symetra Tour.
Last Sunday the 17 year-old pro from Smiths Falls, Ontario finished 5th at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on the LPGA Tour – a major championship.
A day later she co-hosted a pro-am in her home town alongside sister Brittany to raise funds for local causes.
Two days later, fuelled on what had to be fumes, she finished second on the Canadian Women’s Tour – Ontario.
Thursday morning she, with older sister and fellow pro Brittany, headed to South Bend, Indiana for the playing of the Four Winds Invitational at Blackthorn Golf Club. That required an early start in Smiths Falls to make a 6:50 a.m. flight from Ottawa to Chicago, then a two hour drive to South Bend to arrive in time to play in the Four Winds Invitational Pro-Am at 1:00 p.m.. “It was very busy; very hectic,” Brooke admitted.
On Sunday the dedication paid off as Brooke raised her first Symetra Tour winner’s trophy. It is her third win as a professional and 6th win at a professional tournament dating all the way back (wink wink) to three years ago when she was just 14.
Brooke started out slowly in South Bend (where she was playing on a sponsor’s exemption as tour non-member) with an even par round of 72 but she pushed herself into contention with a seven under par 65 on Saturday.
With 18 holes to play and facing a three stroke deficit on Sunday, Brooke slipped closer to the top of the leaderboard with an opening nine of 35 (-1) while overnight leader Dottie Arlina stumbled to a 38.
On the inward nine Henderson sealed her final position with a three birdie run on holes eleven through thirteen. Despite a bogey on the final hole she ended the day with a three under par 69 and a -10 total. That was good enough for a two stroke victory.
“It’s definitely a huge confidence booster to win out here and knowing my next LPGA Tour event will be the U.S. Open in a couple weeks,” Brooke said after the round, also noting she will be playing another Symetra Tour event, the Tullymore Classic, in Michigan, just prior to that.
“I’m very happy to get the win here and hopefully it will just give me that little bit extra when I need it…”
Henderson admitted she was not quite running on a full charge in round one in South Bend, leading to her even par round. That day she closed with two birdies to get herself back to even and she credits those birdies as providing a spark she needed. “I was just a little bit tired the first day. I had a long couple weeks…I was happy to get it in the house because I was two over after 16 holes and I was able to finish birdie, birdie. I think that was a momentum changer and I was able to shoot really well yesterday and finish it off today.”
For the victory Brooke wins (USD) $22,500.
Fellow Canadian Jessica Wallace (Langley, BC) finished in a share of 3rd place.
Brittany Henderson closed with a 69 on Sunday to share 27th place.
Brooke Henderson becomes the third Canadian to win on the Symetra Tour this year, following victories by Sue Kim (Florida’s Natural Charity Classic) and Augusta James (Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial).
Now that she has a win under her belt will Brooke take some time off? Not likely. She’ll be on the bag caddying for her older sister next week at the Symetra Tour’s Island Resort Championship in Harris, Michigan.
Oh, to be young.
After the win Brooke Henderson’s team petitioned LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan for membership on the Symetra Tour. They granted the request. She won’t be caddying in Harris, Michigan this week, she’ll be playing. Unfortunately the money she already earned on the Symetra Tour this year will not count towards the money list. This statement came from the Tour –
“Earlier today, Brooke Henderson petitioned Commissioner Whan to waive the minimum age requirement to be eligible for Symetra Tour membership. Commissioner Whan reviewed the petition and accepted it. Based on her win today at the Four Winds Invitational, Henderson will now be seeded into Category C on the 2015 Symetra Tour Priority List for the remainder of the season. As a Symetra Tour Member, she will be eligible to earn official money for the purposes of the Symetra Tour Money List and the Volvik Race for the Card. Per Symetra Tour regulations, any money previously earned by Henderson as a non-member will remain unofficial for the purposes of the Symetra Tour Money List. Henderson plans to compete this week at the Island Resort Championship in Harris, Michigan.”
– Heather Daly-Donofrio
Chief Tour Operations Officer
— Brooke Henderson (@BrookeH_Golf) June 22, 2015
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