Golf: 17-year-old sensation Henderson granted LPGA Tour membership

Brooke Henderson during the final round of the LPGA Cambia Portland Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club on Aug 16, 2015.
Brooke Henderson during the final round of the LPGA Cambia Portland Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club on Aug 16, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Teenage prodigy Brooke Henderson will be able to compete full-time on the LPGA Tour with immediate effect, and on home soil this week.

Her petition for membership was approved by the LPGA on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old Canadian is one of the game's most exciting prospects and on Sunday became only the third player ever to win an LPGA event before her 18th birthday.

Henderson, who turns 18 on Sept 10, stormed to victory by a staggering eight shots at the Cambia Portland Classic in Oregon.

She emulates New Zealand's Lydia Ko and American Lexi Thompson as LPGA winners before turning 18. Ko was 15 when she first won while Thompson was 16.

"After reviewing Brooke Henderson's petition, I have granted her LPGA Tour membership, beginning immediately," LPGA commissioner Michael Whan said.

"Brooke truly earned her card, and we are looking forward to Brooke joining our Tour and our family. She is a special player and a wonderful person."

The LPGA Tour has an 18-year-old age requirement for membership but Whan can waive the rule, as he did in 2011 for Thompson and two years later for Ko.