As a non-member (of any tour) Brooke Henderson knows LPGA TOUR playing opportunities will be hard to come by this year so she realizes taking advantage of them will be important. The 17 year-old pro from Smiths Falls, ON did just that on Thursday at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic near San Francisco.
Playing on a familiar Lake Merced Golf Club (she played the U.S. Junior Girls there in 2012) Henderson turned in an opening score of two under par 70. The tally puts her in a 10-way share of 9th place in a very tightly bunched field.
She is three strokes off the lead held by defending champion Lydia Ko.
Henderson is playing on a Sponsor’s Exemption this week. Her only other LPGA start of the 2015 season was at the TrueSilk Bahamas LPGA Classic. At that tournament in January she won a qualifier to get a spot in the field and proceeded to finish in a tie for 33rd place.
Brooke’s supporters can likely expect (at least) another LPGA start for her in early June in Cambridge, Ontario. A notice issued to media on Thursday indicated she would be a guest at the May 4th Media Day for the Manulife LPGA Classic. It’s a sure indication she will receive a Sponsor’s Exemption in the event that will be held at WhistleBear Golf Club on June 4-7.
Brooke will start round two at 7:38 a.m. (PST) on Friday as she attempts to make her second LPGA cut of the year.
Two other Canadians are in the field this week. B.C.’s Sue Kim, who Monday qualified, shot even par, 72, in round one and shares 28th place. LPGA TOUR regular Alena Sharp struggled to a 78.