Even with the top nine in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings playing the Manulife LPGA Classic this week, the Henderson sisters are featured attractions.
Brooke, 17, and her older sister, Brittany, 24, are both playing on sponsor exemptions this week in their native Canada.
Brooke is making a large impression as she seeks to earn LPGA membership playing the tour as a non-member. Brittany is trying to make her way to the LPGA via the Symetra Tour. This week marks the first time the sisters will play an LPGA event together. They grew up in Smiths Falls, Ontario, which is a four-hour drive northeast of Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge, Ontario, home to this week’s Manulife Classic.
“It's going to be a lot of fun because we have a lot of family and friends hoping to make the trip up in the next few days,” Brooke said Tuesday in a news conference.
Brooke has made the cut in all five LPGA events she has played this year, three on sponsor exemptions and two via Monday qualifiers. She led the Swinging Skirts Classic through 36 and 54 holes in April before tying for third, missing a playoff by a single shot. She also had the 36-hole lead the following week at the North Texas Shootout, where she ended up tying for 13th. Formerly the No. 1 women’s amateur in the world, Henderson tied for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open last year. She was runner-up at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur before turning pro in December.
Brittany played at Coastal Carolina University before earning Symetra Tour status through LPGA Q-School last year. She finished second at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic on the Symetra Tour earlier this year. She’s 22nd on the tour’s money list.
“I grew up watching Brittany and every weekend I would be going to tournaments and following along and wanted to be just like her,” Brooke said. “I've been able to follow in her footsteps, to this point, and now we're taking this journey together, trying to be the best that we can be. So, I'm very fortunate and grateful that I have a sister that I could look up to all these years.”
Dave Henderson, proud father of the sisters, will caddie for Brittany this week. Bunk Lee, a family friend, will likely tote Brooke’s bag. The Henderson sisters have taken turns caddying for each other in LPGA and Symetra Tour events.
Lorie Kane, the four-time LPGA winner from Canada, played a practice round with the Henderson sisters on Tuesday.
“You couldn’t have two people swing it differently,” Kane said.
Kane added Brooke plays more aggressively, attacking holes, while Brittany is more focused hitting fairways and plotting her way around.
“Both of them will most likely be a member of the tour at some point, and I think that will be good for both of them, particularly Brooke,” Kane said. “I think it will be nice for her to have somebody that she can depend on and that's a little older that she can bounce things off.”