Jaye Marie Green

Sierra Brooks In Field at Pelican Womens Championship as Tournament Sponsor Exemption | LPGA

A rookie on the Symetra Tour in 2020, Sierra Brooks is one day away from her second career LPGA Tour start as a professional. In August, she made the cut at the Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana and finished in a tie for 77th. This week, Brooks prepares for Pelican Golf Club and the inaugural Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging and Konica Minolta.

“My game is in a really good spot and I like the way I’ve been trending,” said Brooks. “I know I can compete out here and that my game stacks up. Obviously, there is a lot that I can’t control, but I can put my best foot forward and play my game. To contend here at the end of the week is my goal, just to get in position to contend.”

Brooks qualified for both the 2016 and 2019 U.S. Women’s Open, and she also earned an exemption into the 2016 ANA Inspiration. The University of Florida alumna is no stranger to the big stage. But a lot has changed since that appearance at Highland Meadows Golf Club three months ago.

Coming into the week, Brooks is fresh off back-to-back top-10 finishes to conclude the 2020 Symetra Tour calendar. That includes a career-best showing of solo third in the Symetra Tour Championship. It’s a learning experience each time she steps onto the course.

“It has been an exciting season considering everything. Having an opportunity to compete and playing as a rookie, it’s what I wanted to do since I was a young girl,” said Brooks, a three-time medalist for the Gators. “There have been a lot of lessons and I am just trying to really get comfortable. That has been the main key for me. Whether it is picking the brain of other girls I’m playing with or figuring out the week’s schedule, from having a caddie to having my dad [Brent] on the bag, to just myself, there have been a lot of different experiences to grow from.”

Throughout the year, Brooks has worked with Golfweek to commentate on her season in a diary series, giving a behind-the-scenes look at life on the “Road to the LPGA” and as a professional, in general. In one excerpt, she talked about her shyness as an eight-year-old when confronted with the chance to ask Natalie Gulbis for an autograph. Now, they are both tournament sponsor exemptions competing in the same event.

“Something I would say [to my eight-year-old self] is they were that age at one time, too. There’s nothing to be nervous or scared about,” Brooks said. “It is so cool to be able to compete with women that I have been inspired by since I was a young girl.

There’s no doubt she’ll continue that approach as her first year as a pro rolls on in Belleair, Fla., where Brooks will head off No. 1 tee at 11:37 a.m. ET in the first round tomorrow.

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