Brooke Henderson’s Pan Am Games Fiasco

Brooke Henderson

Brooke Henderson

Her quest to get to the LPGA has captured most of the attention, so much so that many have overlooked the fiasco that was Brooke Henderson’s commitment/withdrawal from the Pan Am Games. Henderson first committed to the games and then withdrew after being given status on the Symetra Tour. The issue was that she withdrew after the Canadian team was able to replace her, which means Lorie Kane had to represent the women’s side on her own. I suspect had Henderson played—even on an average level by her standards—Canada would have had a team medal.

Golf Canada, behind the scenes, is decidedly unhappy. After Henderson finished T5 at the Women’s US Open, almost certainly giving her privileges on the LPGA once she turns 18, she was asked if she’d reconsider playing at Pan Am. Sources say her father, Dave, turned it down flatly.

I wrote about the Henderson situation in this week’s Global Golf Post. Considering the amount of money Golf Canada has put into Henderson’s career, it is a little surprising that her handlers didn’t see it fit to offer any support in return. On the other hand, there’s nothing that say she had to play in the Pan Am Games, though it seems bad form to agree and then withdraw.

Beyond that, I wonder when someone is going to question the schedule that Henderson, 17, is undertaking. Playing weekly, with few breaks (she did fly to Canada on Monday to play in a Golf Canada fundraiser), being forced to fly to play in Monday qualifiers and then teeing it up later that week must be taking its toll.

How that will manifest itself in a few years will be interesting. We’ve seen burnout in young golfers before—let’s hope Henderson doesn’t follow that trend.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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