9 things you didn’t know about Brooke Henderson, Canada’s next golf superstar

Brooke Henderson
Brooke Henderson follows her shot from the fairway down to the second green of the Lake Merced Golf Club during the final round of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic golf tournament Sunday, April 26, 2015, in Daly City, Calif. AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Entering the final round of yesterday’s Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in California, Smiths Falls, Ont.’s Brooke Henderson had a narrow lead, while being chased by some of the biggest stars in women’s golf. It was a remarkable accomplishment for the 17-year old who has no status on the LPGA, which restricts membership on its tour to golfers 18 or older.

In the end Henderson couldn’t hold onto the lead, falling a shot behind eventual winner Lydia Ko, the World No. 1 female golfer who beat Morgan Pressel in a playoff. But, Henderson impressed everyone with her ability and poise, and the commentators on the Golf Channel telecast pronounced the teen is on the cusp of great things.

With that, here’s nine things you need to know about Henderson, Canada’s next great golfing hope:

Brooke Henderson
Brooke Henderson prepares to hit from the fourth tee of the Lake Merced Golf Club during the third round of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic golf tournament Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Daly City, Calif. AP Photo/Eric Risberg
  1. Henderson was planning on going to the University of Florida to play golf this year. But after it became clear her game wouldn’t benefit from college challengers, she elected to turn pro.
  2. The LPGA turned down an application that would have allowed Henderson to play at LPGA qualifying school because she fails to meet their age requirement, which is 18. However, other players—like Ko and Lexi Thompson—successfully petitioned to become members before they turned 18.
  3. Henderson was trying to become the third player in LPGA history to win before the age of 18. She was also attempting to become the first Canadian woman to win on the LPGA since Lorie Kane 11 years ago.
  4. Henderson played her first U.S. Women’s Open in Long Island, NY, at the age of 15, a week after writing her Grade 10 exams. She made the cut and played again last year, tying for 10th. That finish gets Henderson into this year’s U.S. Women’s Open as well.
  5. Henderson played goalie in hockey, but eventually had to stop to dedicate herself entirely to golf. She now has a sponsorship deal with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators.
  6. Henderson became the No. 1 amateur in the world last year on her birthday. She narrowly missed winning the Women’s U.S. Amateur, losing in the final to Kristen Gillman.
  7. Henderson’s idol is her sister, Brittany, who is also playing pro golf on the developmental Symetra Tour. Earlier this year, the sisters finished first and second, with Brooke taking the victory at a tournament in Florida.
  8. Brittany has been a regular caddie for her sister, while Brooke carried the bag for her older sister at LPGA qualifying school last year.
  9. Earlier this year Henderson moved to Florida with her sister in order to practice and play full-time. Even without membership on the LPGA, Henderson has up to six tournament exemptions, plus the U.S. Open. She can Monday qualify for as many events as she wants, and teed it up in Dallas today to try to qualify for this week’s LPGA tournament.

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