It seems unusual that after a tie for 5th place in the United States Women’s Open Championship that Brooke Henderson would be required to Monday qualify for the next LPGA Tour event but that was exactly the situation she faced as a non-member of the tour.
After the big finish in Lancaster Brooke headed for Sylvania, Ohio and the qualifier for the LPGA’s Marathon Classic. Weather delayed her 11:10 start on Monday but it did not seem to affect Henderson who turned in a score of 69. Unfortunately that left her short of earning one of the two available spots and she has had to default to her back up plan for the rest of the week.
The Symetra Tour, Road to the LPGA, confirmed on Monday night that 17-year-old Brooke Henderson will play in the 2015 Toyota Danielle Downey Classic.
“Although I was hoping my 2-under 69 would qualify for the Marathon Classic, I’ve heard nothing but great things about Rochester and I’m excited to compete this week on the Symetra Tour at the Danielle Downey Classic,” said Henderson. “I enjoy playing alongside my sister, Brittany, and it’s nice that we get to do it just four hours from my home of Smiths Falls, Ontario.”
Currently in 32nd place in the Rolex World Rankings the 17-year has accumulated $458,866 as a non-member in just eight LPGA Tour starts, the equivalent of 17th on the money list.
Henderson petitioned for Symetra Tour membership after winning the tour’s Four Winds Invitational as a non-member and commissioner Mike Whan accepted. She has played in one event, the Island Resort Championship, as a member and finished solo third. Henderson finished in a tie for second at her first Symetra Tour tournament, the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic. She currently ranks 49th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
Brooke’s older sister, Brittany, will also be in the field in Rochester. She is currently in 28th place on the Symetra Tour Volvik Race for the Card.
“We have known about the possibility of Brooke and Brittany Henderson playing here for some time, but did not want to get the community excited or even rooting against any offsetting successes that they may have had in the U.S. Open or in Toledo,” said tournament chair Mike Vadala. “As a committee, we decided to do what was in the best interest of the players and to keep a low profile until we knew. That said, Brooke is the most exciting young player in golf this year, and her sister Brittany, who recently spent a summer in Rochester working at CCR, has also done well on the Symetra Tour. We are pleased and excited that these two fine young ladies will be part of our field. I know they will feel the support of Rochester’s huge golf fan base.”
The Henderson’s will be two of 13 Canadians competing in the 144-player field for a total tournament purse of $150,000. The winner will earn $22,500.
The leading Canadian on the Volvik Race for the Card is Augusta James of Bath, Ontario. She sits 8th on the list. The top ten players at the end of the season earn status on the LPGA TOUR for 2016.
The other ten Canadians in the field include:
Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Lisa Meldrum, Angela Buzminski, Natalie Gleadall, Anne-Catherine Tanguay, Nicole Vandermade, Jessica Wallace, Sara-Maude Juneau, Sue Kim, and Nicole Zhang.