Canadians Jennifer Kirby and Brooke Henderson have been granted sponsor exemptions into the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic next month in Waterloo, Ontario.
Kirby, a native of Paris, Ont., will be making her second appearance at the event, only this time she will be doing so as a professional player. After graduating from the University of Alabama earlier this year, the former Canaidan amateur champion won in her pro debut at a CN Canadian Women's Tour event in Quebec last week.
Henderson is currently Canada's top-ranked amateur female. The 15-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ont., became the youngest player to compete in the CN Canadian Women's Open last summer in Vancouver. She recently garnered Amateur of the Year honours on the CN Women's Tour after a second and third place performance at events in B.C. and Quebec. Henderson is one of eight Canadians who also qualified to play in the U.S. Women's Open championship this week, an LPGA major.
"The talent of these young players is remarkable and it is great to have the opportunity to showcase some of Canada's rising stars," said tournament director Richard Kuypers.
Also confirmed for the July 11-14th event at Grey Silo Golf Club is Yani Tseng. The former world number one has 15 career LPGA titles including five of those titles being major championships. Helped by her dominating performance in 2011, Tseng reigned atop the world rankings for 109 consecutive weeks until being dethroned by American Stacy Lewis this past March. After winning seven times in 2011, the Taiwanese golfer has struggled of late with just three wins over the last 15 months.