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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Brooke Henderson Watch

As most of you know, newly-minted LPGA pro Brooke Henderson is trying to qualify for the five tournaments in the Asian Swing. To do that, she'll need to crack the Top62 on the LPGA Official Money List. (To make the Lorena Ochoa Invitational she'll need Top26 money.)

The trick here is that she only has THREE tournaments to reach that magic 62 position.

Brooke Henderson

To make it easier to keep up with her progress -- and I assume all of you are just as interested in her quest as I am -- I've added a "Brooke Henderson Watch" section to the Rolex World Rankings list in the sidebar and I'll be updating it as each week ticks off.

The Canadian Pacific Women's Open this past week was the first of Brooke's three tournaments. Although she struggled a bit early on, she went low with a 5-under 67 on Sunday. This gave her a T23 finish and her first official check, worth $22,816.

By comparison, the player at 62 has $171,383 -- a figure which will no doubt rise over the next three weeks. So, heading into the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic this week, Brooke ranks 132.

Yes, that puts her $148,567 behind the 62nd player with only two events to play. But all is not lost.

First of all, once you get down to the 31st or 32nd player on the money list, the gaps between players are not all that large. In fact, the gap between 32 and 62 is only $146,621, slightly less than Brooke's 132 is from 62. And when you realize that most of these players have averaged 18-20 events, it's clear that the total of the 62nd player probably won't rise a whole lot and some good play from Brooke should move her up the list quickly.

Second, looking at the remaining two events, there is definitely money to be had. The winner of the Yokohama event took home $195,000 last year, and T5 was worth $48,945. Even better, the Evian's winner took home $487,500 -- it's a major, after all -- and solo 5th got $136,946. And given that Brooke's had a win and three other Top5s this year (two of those in majors), a couple more Top5s -- or a single win -- would likely lock up a Top62 spot.

She'll have to play well to do it, but is it doable? Oh yes.

And finally, there will probably be some players who skip the Sime Darby Classic, which is the first event of the Asian Swing. If so, she may get an invite if she's just close to that 62 rank.

So I'll be updating my Brooke Watch as she pursues a spot in the Asian Swing over the next three weeks. (There's a one-week break between Yokohama and Evian.) Just keep watching the Rolex World Rankings section over in the sidebar to see how she's doing.