Golf: Teen's first big win like a dream

It's a great day for 18-year-old Brooke Henderson, after sinking her birdie putt to win the play-off against her fellow teen golfer Lydia Ko. Sunday's victory means the Canadian is the new world No. 2 behind Ko.
It's a great day for 18-year-old Brooke Henderson, after sinking her birdie putt to win the play-off against her fellow teen golfer Lydia Ko. Sunday's victory means the Canadian is the new world No. 2 behind Ko. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Henderson denies Ko a third straight Major with Women's PGA C'ship play-off triumph

SEATTLE • Brooke Henderson used a brilliant putting game to become a first-time Major champion on Sunday, edging out world No. 1 Lydia Ko in a play-off to capture the Women's PGA Championship.

The Canadian golfer claimed the title when she rolled in a short birdie putt on the first play-off hole at the Sahalee Country Club course near Seattle, Washington.

Henderson said the win feels like a dream. "I don't know whether I thought it would come true," she said. "I'm just speechless. I don't know what's going on in my head right now."

At 18 years and nine months, she became the second-youngest woman to win a Major after New Zealander Ko, who won last year's Evian Championship aged 18 years and four months.

Henderson is just the second Canadian to win a women's Major after Sandra Post (1968 Women's PGA Championship).

BIG SHOT

I thought I needed to do something special here because I didn't want to go to extra (play-off) holes, especially against her.

BROOKE HENDERSON, Women's PGA Championship winner, on her approach to the first play-off hole against world No. 1 Lydia Ko.

She hit a superb approach on the No. 18 play-off hole as her ball landed about 20 feet inside of Ko's ball and just three feet from the cup.

Ko, 19, settled for par on the extra hole.

"I thought I needed to do something special here because I didn't want to go to extra (play-off) holes, especially against her," Henderson said of her second shot in the play-off. "I hit a pretty solid seven-iron and it rolled out pretty nicely and I was able to make the putt."

Her victory capped a fantastic day for the young guns on the LPGA Tour, as the three leaders down the stretch on the final day were all 20 or younger.

Henderson closed with a six-under 65 on Sunday to finish in a tie with a six-under 278 total.

She had to come from behind to beat Ko, forcing the play-off by draining a 50-foot putt on No. 17 and then making a 20-footer for a dramatic par save on the last hole.

Ko, seeking a third consecutive Major, fired a 67.

She took a one-shot lead into the final round and led for most of Sunday, before Henderson made a late move.

"I really didn't feel a ton of pressure or a ton of nerves, which is the key to shooting six under in a final round," the Canadian said.

Ko said: "I'm happy with the way I played. I just got outplayed. For Brooke to shoot 65 on the final day at a Major, at a course like this, is very impressive."

Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, who was attempting to tie Nancy Lopez's record with a fourth straight victory on the Tour, shot a 66 to finish in solo third place at 279.

A trio of South Koreans - Lee Mi Rim (69), Ryu So Yeon (67) and Park Hee Young (66) tied for fourth at 282.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2016, with the headline 'Teen's first big win like a dream'. Print Edition | Subscribe