Sierra Brooks has decided that she’s ready for the next step. After finishing tied for 62nd at LPGA Q-Series, Brooks informed her Florida coaches and teammates that she will forgo her final semester of eligibility and turn professional. Brooks plans to compete full time on the Symetra Tour in 2020.
“My dream and my goal is to get my LPGA tour card,” said Brooks. “I don’t want to have to go through Q-School again. I just want to put my best foot forward and give myself the best opportunity to do that. It makes the most sense turn pro now and forgo the spring.”
Brooks informed her teammates on Wednesday afternoon. The Florida native first committed to the Gators at age 13, but then backed out and signed with Wake Forest. She played one season for the Demon Deacons, battling injury for much of the time, and then headed to LPGA Q-School. After she failed to advance out of the first stage, Brooks headed back to Florida for the 2018 spring season.
“I’m so proud to say I’m a Gator and I can’t be more appreciative for all this program has provided for me”
— Gators Golf (@GatorsGolf) November 7, 2019
She finished runner-up to Maria Fassi at last year’s NCAA Championship and led the team with a 72.59 stroke average in 2018-19. Brooks is eighth in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings and No. 13 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Florida is ranked seventh as a team.
“It’s not an easy thing,” Brooks said of leaving her team a semester early. “It’s like a breakup.”
Brooks said she signed up for Q-School thinking she’d go the Jennifer Kupcho/Maria Fassi route, referring to the college all-stars who deferred LPGA status until the summer of 2019 and still managed to keep their cards on only a half season of competition.
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Every journey starts with one single step. Today I take my first step and will forgo the spring collegiate golf season and begin my journey to compete at the highest levels of women’s golf! I’m forever proud to say I’m a @floridagators and very excited to start my journey as a professional on the @Road2LPGA!
But after Brooks failed to earn an LPGA card at Pinehurst No. 9, she began to study the Symetra Tour’s 2019 schedule and realized that if it stayed the same for next year, she’d miss the first nine events out of a total of 23.
“Since it’s about almost half their season,” said Brooks, “I feel like I was left with no other option.”
Five college players competed in Q-Series. Brooks is the third player who has decided to leave college and turn professional, joining USC’s Jennifer Chang, who earned her LPGA card, and Frida Kinhult, the Florida State sophomore who will join Brooks on the Symetra Tour.
Top-ranked Andrea Lee and Albane Valenzuela, both Stanford seniors, remain undecided about their plans for next spring.