Brooke Henderson Fighting for Tour Card
But Fine Golf Not Always a Beautiful Sight
I just talked about Brooke Henderson last week. Now, it’s someone else’s turn, but we have to take note of Brooke Henderson again, because she’s a contender again, and is demonstrating some elite persistence about doing well at this golf tour thing. We were impressed when she gave Morgan Pressel and Lydia Ko a serious push last week at the Swinging Skirts, a tournament Ko won in a playoff with typical nerves of steel. However, this week, at the North Texas Shootout, Henderson is back – and Lydia is not.
Another reason for going back to Brooke Henderson as the topic of the day is that the current PGA week has become a clown car of adolescent tantrums and playground squabbles, reminding me of Flick going to the “triple-dog-dare” in Christmas Story. This week, it went something like “contest a call overseen by an official in authority, then tell the opponents caddie to shut up.” Then, the opponent tells you, “”Hey, you can’t talk to my caddie that way,” and we’re off and running (at the mouth) in a match (WGC Cadillac Match Play) that wasn’t even important to the outcome. So, what would you rather follow, Miguel Angel Jiminez with his typically off-beat “charm,” or the emergence of a presence coming out of Ontario, who just demonstrated an important part of winning, or at least excelling, by being a contender on consecutive weeks. That’s Brooke Henderson.
I see that all the article titles are about the leaders, and they are powerful. Lexi Thompson, the young woman to whom Commissioner Whan did give a tour card before the age of eighteen, is tied with the always-dangerous Inbee Park, and the legendary Karrie Webb. They’re all at nine under heading into Sunday, and one of them might win it. However, like last week, Brooke Henderson, to whom Commissioner Whan refused to give a tour card until the age of eighteen, led the tournament at one point, and threatened right up to the end. Commissioner Whan has certainly noticed that she’s doing it again, and despite the quality of the group one ahead of her, Lydia Ko is not there. Her battle was to avoid missing her first cut since I can remember, and she ably skirted the embarrassment, but that’s all. Henderson led the second round with a 65, and came back today with a 71. Again, maybe she won’t win it tomorrow, but if she keeps doing this, she’s going to win some of them, sooner than later. Already, she’s proven that she belongs at this level, so we’d all better start giving her the respect she deserves.
I, for one, enjoy the fact that Henderson doesn’t smoke cigars on the course. Jiminez is no prize in the looking glass, but ditching the stogie could stop him from looking like the new villain in Batman. After watching Henderson’s interview last week, which seemed mature and forward-looking, the already famous line attributed to Jiminez is still in my ears – “I don’t always yell at caddies, but when I do, I make sure that it accomplishes absolutely nothing.” Maybe something got lost in the translation.
Regardless of Sunday, this second week of contention provides compelling evidence that Brooke Henderson is not going to be a flash in the pan tour golfer, and yet, she doesn’t have a card, and I can’t even remember which tournament she’ll even be allowed to play in next. If she stays in the role of contender, any tournament that does not admit her will be viewed as less of a tournament, and that view will be correct. Every event should want the best there at all times.