Sunday, June 12, 2016

Brooke Henderson Wins First Major Championship

In what was probably the most exciting finish of the LPGA season thus far, eighteen year old Brooke Henderson has won the 2016 KPMG Women's PGA Championship. She did it by defeating Lydia Ko, the number one player in the world, on the first playoff hole.

Brooke Henderson wins her first Major Championship!

It looked as though it was going to be quite easy for Lydia Ko on this Sunday afternoon, when she took a 3 stroke lead into the back nine. Brooke rolled in a miraculous putt from off the green on the 11th hole for an eagle. It cut Ko's lead to just one stroke. Lydia then birdied the 11th, to increase her lead to two strokes. When Henderson birdied the par four 13th, Ko's lead was back down to one.

It stayed that way, with both players making par, until Henderson birdied the 17th hole to pull even.

When Ko put her approach shot on 17 within four feet of the flag, and Brooke had a 12 footer just to save par on 18, it looked like Lydia had her third straight major championship in the bag.

It would all turn around a few minutes later when Brooke made the 12 footer on 18 to save par, and Lydia missed her four footer that would have given her the eventual win.

Meanwhile, Ariya Jutanugarn, winner of the last 3 LPGA events, birdied both 16 and 17 to pull within one stroke of the leaders. She would miss a long birdie put on 18, and had to settle for third place.

Brooke and Lydia were then off to the 18th hole to start the playoff. Ko drove first and had no trouble finding the fairway. Brooke was next and blew her drive past Ko's in a very good position. Lydia put her approach shot to within 20 feet of the flag, and Brooke stuck hers just 3 feet from the hole. Lydia missed her putt, and Brooke made hers for her first Major Championship win. Brooke shot a final round 65, 2 shots better than Ko's 67.

It was Brooke's second LPGA victory. She won the Cambia Classic last August, before gaining LPGA membership.

When Brooke accepted membership to the LPGA last year, she gave up her chance of becoming a rookie in 2016. Her league leading ten top tens this year (nobody else has more than 7), and this Major Championship victory, would have put her light years ahead of any other rookie this year.

Brooke became only the second Canadian player to win a Major Championship. The first since Sandra Post did it forty-eight years ago.

Brooke also became the second youngest Major Championship winner ever!



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7 comments:

  1. A great final round of golf. Beautiful, challenging course. Large galleries. Great shot making. In between periods of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals on Canadian TV, they paid their dues to Brooke. A big deal indeed. Look out Rio.

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  2. Awesome finish x2 and congrats to Brooke M, the new Queen! Does she have the points to be World #2, Tony?
    Arthur2

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    Replies
    1. Yes she does. She will be #2 in the world when the rankings come out on Monday.

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  3. Great win and congratulations to Brooke M the new World No. 2!
    Arthur2

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  4. I also noticed the T8 of Su Oh on the scoreboard. The 2015 rookie has risen from the depths of a T32 at Q-School and has now has qualified for the Australian Olympic team!
    Arthur2

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    Replies
    1. Good observation. Oh has replaced Karrie Webb (as of now) on the Olympic Team.

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    2. Oops, Su Oh is a 2016 rookie from 2015 Q-School but you probably knew where I was coming from, thanks.
      Arthur2

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