TORONTO (AP) — Brooke Henderson, the 17-year-old Canadian who topped the world amateur golf ranking, turned professional Thursday and signed with International Management Group and Ping equipment.
Henderson, from Smiths Falls, Ontario, made the announced Thursday with help from the NHL’s Ottawa Senators and defenseman Mark Borowiecki. She has signed with PING and will be supported by Golf Canada’s young professional program.
”I’m ready to turn pro,” Henderson said. ”It’s my dream to play against the best in the world and to be able to compete on the LPGA would be a dream come true. I know it’s a long road ahead of me, but I’m excited for it. … This is the right decision.”
This year, Henderson was the runner-up in the U.S. Women’s Amateur, tied for 10th in the U.S. Women’s Open and won the individual title in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. She has won three professional tournaments as an amateur, the first in 2012 on the Canadian Women’s Tour at a record 14 years, 9 months, 3 days.
”Last season was very successful and a big confidence-booster for me in many ways,” she said. ”Having that great finish (at U.S. Open) definitely was a point where I could see myself playing in the LPGA Tour, seeing this as a career and taking it to the next step.”
Henderson petitioned the LPGA Tour to participate in Q-School this year, but her request for an age waiver was denied.
She moved to No. 1 in the amateur ranking in September when Australia’s Minjee Lee turned pro.