Canadian hails trailblazer after feat

LOS ANGELES • Brooke Henderson has paid tribute to Sandra Post after capturing her second consecutive Lotte Championship on Saturday, winning her eighth LPGA title to match her compatriot for the most all-time tour triumphs by a Canadian.

Henderson fired a final-round two-under 70 at Oahu's Ko Olina Golf Club course to finish 72 holes in Hawaii on 16-under 272 for a four-stroke victory over South Korea's Ji Eun-hee (73).

Post, 70, claimed eight tour titles from 1968 to 1981.

"It's amazing to be mentioned in the same sentence with Sandra Post," said Henderson, who also equalled the best showing by any Canadian on the US PGA Tour, with Mike Weir and George Knudson having each won eight career titles.

"It has just been surreal the last few years," she added. "It's just really amazing to get this win to tie Sandra and Mike Weir, too."

Henderson won her first LPGA title at the 2015 Portland Classic as a qualifier. She won twice each in 2016, 2017 and 2018 with her lone Major title coming at the 2016 Women's PGA Championship.

The 21-year-old, who shared the lead with American Nelly Korda (77) when the day began, opened with a bogey but bounced back with birdies at the par-four third and par-five fifth holes to remain atop the leaderboard.

She birdied the par-four 11th after driving to the fringe of the green to stretch her lead to three strokes over 10th-ranked Korda and 20th-ranked Ji.

Birdies at Nos. 13 and 14 - both par fives - pulled Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn (73) to 14 under, two back of Henderson, but the world No. 3 missed a 20-foot par putt to bogey the 15th and fall three adrift.

Henderson held fast, sinking a clutch eight-foot par putt at the par-three to maintain her margin.

Rivals were unable to close the gap and deny her a historic triumph alongside her sister and caddie Brittany, with her parents watching from the family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario.

"My parents have sacrificed so much for us to have this dream out here, to make our dream a reality," said Henderson.

Ariya and Australian Minjee Lee (74) shared third on 277, one stroke ahead of American Danielle Kang (69), Mexico's Gaby Lopez (67) and South Korea's Choi Hye-jin (72).

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2019, with the headline 'Canadian hails trailblazer after feat'. Print Edition | Subscribe