Golf Canada released the names of national team players for 2015 on Thursday morning and it did not include the name of Brooke Henderson, the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world. Also conspicuous by her absence on the national team is 2014 Canadian Women’s Amateur champion Augusta James.
James, who plays for NC State, was the 2012 ACC Freshman of the Year and a three-time all-ACC player, will attend LPGA Q-school next week and will likely make the decision on whether to turn pro afterwards.
Initially, I thought Henderson’s name would be on the list and her absence may lead some to believe that she will now definitely turn pro.
As Gord Holder of the Ottawa Citizen pointed out in this column that GNN linked to a couple of days ago, Henderson had also not submitted a national letter of intent to play at the University of Florida by the Nov. 19 deadline for the early signing period.
As Holder points out, all signs are pointing towards Henderson turning pro. She had indicated in early October that she would make a call on her immediate future within a couple of weeks, but it’s almost the beginning of December.
However, there has been no official word from the Henderson family on what the 17-year-old will do and there does appear to be several options available to her if she does eventually decide to stay an amateur into next summer.
Even if she isn’t on the national team, it’s unlikely that Golf Canada would deny her support, access to amateur tournaments or other perks, given her No. 1 position in the world rankings.
As a matter of fact, as this story is being written, she is attending a national team training camp in Texas.
It is possible that she could still sign with Florida, but it remains to be seen if that collegiate team would hold open a spot at the risk of possibly losing her if she turns pro.
On the other side of the equation, Henderson has reportedly signed with IMG, which doesn’t necessarily mean she’s turned pro. If she does decide to go pro, there would likely be enough exemptions available to her to string together a schedule before attending LPGA qualifying school next fall.
As an amateur last year, Henderson missed out on collecting more than $100,000 U.S.
While it may seem that she is leaning towards turning pro, the Hendersons do appear to be weighing all options and there are plenty.
While it’s tempting to draw a conclusion from her absence from the national team, it may be a little too early to jump. It seems curious that even with Wednesday’s development, there has still be no word from the Henderson camp.
If a decision has been made, there appears to be no reason to remain quiet on the subject.