Henderson, 20, captures sixth LPGA title
4/15/2018 9:06:31 AM EST
Twenty-year Canadian Brooke Henderson pulled away for her sixth career LPGA title Saturday, winning the LOTTE Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii.
Henderson carded a steady, 3-under-par 69 in the final round at Ko Olina Golf Club on Oahu to wind up at 12-under 276, four shots better than Azahara Munoz. The Spaniard climbed from a tie for 15th thanks to best round of the day, 5 under par.
Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, South Korea's Inbee Park and China's Shanshan Feng, the world's top-ranked player, tied for third place at 7 under. Jutanugarn closed with a 3-under round while Feng was 1 under and Park was even par on Saturday.
The victory is projected to move Henderson from 12th to second in the season-long LPGA points race, behind only Park, who will remain No. 1. Jutanugarn will rise from No. 5 to No. 3.
Henderson, who won two events last year, opened her Saturday round with nine pars and two birdies over her first 11 holes. Her lone stumble of the day came with a bogey at No. 12, but birdies at No. 14 and No. 16 allowed her to cruise home.
Henderson pointed to her performance at No. 16, where she made a double bogey in the third round, as the key to closing out the win.
"It was a really tough hole for me yesterday, but to hit that great shot in there to the back pin and then to be able to make that birdie, yeah, that was really huge," she said. "Kind of from four putts to one putt, that was a great feeling just to increase my lead a little bit more. I felt like I was in the driver's seat.
"I was really taking control of my round at that point. I was feeling really well. Coming down 18, ... that four-shot lead really helped."
The only Canadian ever to record more LPGA wins than Henderson was Sandra Post, who had eight victories from 1968-81.
Henderson dedicated her win to the victims and survivors of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan.
"It's extremely sad, a terrible tragedy what happened up there," she said. "I know it kind of affected my whole country. Everybody really took it kind of personally. For all the survivors that are still fighting through it and all the ones that have passed away, I want to show them that we're here for them and we're supporting them. They're always going to be in our thoughts and prayers."
As for runner-up Munoz, she matched her best result on tour in four years.
"I'm hitting the ball the best I could remember," Munoz said. "I think I'm back to 2014 when I last contended, but I have gone through quite a few health issues. I'm playing really well right now, so I'm quite excited to see that."
Taiwan's Peiyung Chien (final-round 2 under) and Americans Lindy Duncan (2 under) and Lizette Salas (even) shared sixth place at 6 under par.
American Daniela Iacobelli (even) came in ninth at 5 under while Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn (even) claimed 10th at 4 under.
Defending champ Cristie Kerr (2 over) wound up at 4 over, leaving her tied for 44th.
--Field Level Media