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Brooke Henderson And Jackie Stoelting Awarded Sponsor Exemptions To Compete In The Manulife Financial LPGA Classic

Seven Canadian golfers competing in 2014 tournament @ManulifeClassic #MFLPGAC

WATERLOO, ON, May 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Brooke Henderson, Canada's top ranked amateur and Jackie Stoelting, Champion, Big Break Florida Season 10 join the field for the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic at Grey Silo Golf Course, June 4 to 8.

"It's always a treat to watch Brooke Henderson compete and we're proud to have her play in the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic once again," said Marianne Harrison, President and CEO, Manulife Canada. "Big Break Florida has kept viewers on the edge of their seats and we'd like to congratulate champion, Jackie Stoelting, who has earned an exemption to compete in our tournament."

No. 3 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, and Canada's top ranked amateur is Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ontario. Henderson continues to turn heads at just 16 years of age, and will be given another chance to do so with her exemption into the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. Henderson capped off 2013 with a victory on the Florida Orange Blossom Tour, winning the Junior Orange Bowl at Biltmore Golf Club in Coral Gables, posting a final round of 67 for a four-day total of 280; 4 under par. 2014 began with another victory this time at the South Atlantic Ladies' Amateur Championship in Ormond Beach, Fla. Henderson fired a final round 72 to pull ahead of the pack with a 4-stroke victory. Henderson received a sponsor exemption to compete in the 2013 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, holding her own by finishing T35.

For the last 10 weeks on the Golf Channel, 12 women went head-to-head at Omni Amelia Island Plantation in Florida for season 10 of the Big Break, and a chance to launch their career in professional golf. To do so they had to endure a series of intense challenges that tested their golf skills and mental toughness. Only one player received the honour of being named Big Break Champion, and that player was Jackie Stoelting.

At 27 years of age, Jackie Stoelting, a graduate of Florida Southern College has achieved her goal of becoming the champion of the Big Break Florida. Along with carrying the title of Big Break Florida Champion, Stoelting won more than $175,000 in cash and prizes (the largest collection of prizes in series history) and an opportunity to play on the LPGA Tour, at the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.

Canadian Golfers

Currently, representing Canada at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, Brooke Henderson will join Lorie Kane, Alena Sharp, Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Rebecca Lee-Bentham, Sue Kim and previously announced Jennifer Kirby.

Kane, the Charlottetown, PEI native has enjoyed great success on the LPGA Tour, Recording season-best T41 finishes at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic and the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in 2013.

Sharp is still searching for her first LPGA Tour victory, and none would be sweeter for the Hamilton, ON protégé than the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic title.

Leblanc recorded a season-best T32 finish at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic in 2013. Lee-Bentham recorded a career-best T11 finish at The Evian Championship as well as carding a career-low 65 during the first round of the CME Group Titleholders.

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