– Potentially Locks Up LPGA Tour Status For 2016 –
Clutch. She did it when she needed to. Just as she has so many times before in a career so fresh but already rich with golf stories.
In a personal chase for status on the LPGA TOUR for 2016 and playing on one of the biggest stages in women’s professional golf, seventeen year-old Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls did not crumble.
After a late Saturday charge where she made birdies on four of her final five holes to work her way into the top twenty, Brooke kept the momentum going Sunday at the United States Women’s Open Championship.
She one upped her tie for 10th place in the 2014 version of the major championship by pushing herself to a 6-way share of 5th place this year, mostly courtesy of her scores of 68-66 on the weekend.
Not only does her top ten finish guarantee a return to the U.S. Women’s Open field for 2016, it just may be enough to secure her LPGA Tour exempt status for 2016.
With the $141,396 she picked up on Sunday she pushes her 2015 LPGA earnings to nearly $460,000. It surpasses what the 40th place finisher on the LPGA Tour money list earned in 2014. By the end of this year she will need to have earned more than the 40th place finisher on the list from THIS year to earn LPGA Tour status for 2016. That means her work is still not done as that number could potentially float higher.
The Priority List Category (10) she is chasing –
10. Non-Member Top-40: Non-Members who, as of the conclusion of the last Official Tournament of the previous year, won an amount of money during such year in Official Tournaments with a cut, that is equal to or greater than the amount of official money won by the Member who was in 40th place on the Money List at that time. Priority based on the amount of money won in such tournaments. A player must be eligible and accept LPGA membership to be eligible in this category.
With just a few more chances to make money on the LPGA Tour this year, Brooke was pleased with how she performed under that pressure. “It’s exciting to know that I do have a chance to get my card for next year and doing something that a lot of people didn’t believe was possible,”she noted after play on Sunday. “So I’m very, very excited to be in the position I am and hopefully I’ll play well in the British, and Canadian Open.”
She is referring to her two more guaranteed more starts on the LPGA Tour, the Ricoh British Open starting July 30th and the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in Vancouver beginning August 20th.
To bolster that schedule she is attempting to qualify Monday for the LPGA’s Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio. She packed up Sunday night and head to the Toledo area with a Monday tee time looming at 11:10 a.m.
Henderson has another potential LPGA start if she can stay in the top 40 of the Rolex World Rankings by August 4th. That would earn her an invite into the Evian Championship being played from September 10-13th in France. With her finish at the U.S. Women’s Open she jumped from 45th in the rankings all the way to 32nd.
One thing is certain, her play this past week was a HUGE step towards being a full-time member of the LPGA Tour in 2016.
Being close to locking up that card is clearly on Brooke’s mind, something she expressed to the media Sunday when they noted that her finish may have already provided enough earnings to achieve that goal. “I hope so, there’s still a lot of golf left today and there’s still a lot of golf left this summer, but it’s definitely a good start, and if I can play well in a couple more tournaments I think I’ll be close.”