Posted: April 28, 2015 8:10 pm
Monday-qualifying – playing a single round against a large group of pros for one of very few berths in an upcoming tournament – is too difficult to be even considered a serious, regular career-building option for most golf pros.
Brooke Henderson, 17, is different.
Henderson finished third, one shot out of a sudden-death playoff, in the LPGA Swinging Skirts Classic that ended Sunday in San Francisco. Then she flew to Dallas, where she played her way into a berth in this week’s tour event, the North Texas Shootout.
She shot 70 there in a qualifier pushed to Tuesday due to bad weather. That was good for a tie for second among 46 players, with two spots available, and birdied the second hole of sudden death to make the field.
The LPGA requires members to be at least 18 years old, and while Henderson could have petitioned commissioner Mike Whan for membership waiver had she won last week, she’ll likely have to wait for membership until she turns 18 on Sept. 10. Until then, Henderson plans to compile a schedule between Monday qualifiers and sponsor exemptions, with the goal of earning an LPGA card for 2016 via non-member equivalent earnings.
Henderson used the first of six available sponsor invites last week, and she already has plans to use exemptions at the Shoprite Classic and Manulife LPGA Classic later this year. She also Monday qualified for the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic in February, where she tied for 33rd.
Henderson will be in Lancaster in July for the U.S. Open, for which she is qualified by virtue of a top-10 finish in last year’s Open.
Yes, she was only 16 then.