Brooke Henderson and Jackie Stoelting Awarded Sponsor Exemptions to Compete in the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic

Seven Canadian golfers competing in 2014 tournament

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.

Kim recorded four top-10 finishes in 2012 on the Symetra Tour. She ranked third in birdies (139) and fourth in rounds under par (21).

Kirby, just recently in Waterloo Region for the tournament's announcement of a contract extension with Manulife, finished in fifth place at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament to earn Priority List Category 12 for the 2014 LPGA Tour season. Kirby received a sponsor exemption in 2012 and 2013 to compete in the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.

For more information, including ticketing and volunteer opportunities, visit

About the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic
The Manulife Financial LPGA Classic is back for its third year on the LPGA Tour and will feature a standard eligibility field of 144 players, 72 holes of stroke play and a purse of $1.5 million. The tournament will take place June 4 - 8, 2014, at Grey Silo Golf Course in Waterloo, Ontario, home of Manulife Financial's Canadian Division Headquarters. For more information please visit:
Follow us on Twitter:  @ManulifeClassic.

About Manulife
Manulife is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife and its subsidiaries were approximately C$635 billion (US$574 billion) as at March 31, 2014. Our group of companies operates as Manulife in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at

About Sports Properties International
As owner of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, Sports Properties International was created to provide an environment where communities and spectacular sporting events can come together, connected by a common interest. Sports Properties International can be found on the internet at

About Bruno Event Team
Bruno Event Team (BET) is a Birmingham, Alabama-based sports marketing and event management company formed in 1996 by Ronald Bruno and Gene Hallman. Bruno Event Team is experienced in all facets of event management, employing a year-round staff of 70+ employees in thirteen offices around the United States and Canada. Bruno Event Team Services each client with expertise in strategic planning, marketing, advertising, public and media relations, ticket and merchandise sales, sponsor relations, hospitality consulting, event operations, event financial planning/accounting, and volunteer coordination. Visit for additional information.

SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation

For further information:

Media Contacts: 
Lisa (Green) Collins
Marketing & Communications
Manager Manulife Financial LPGA Classic

Brooke Tucker-Reid
Media Relations Consultant

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