Teen star Brooke Henderson wins Portland Classic
17-year old Canadian Brooke Henderson had shown enough this year to have her papers stamped as a ‘Sure thing’ to win on the LPGA Tour before too long. Little did anyone think however that she might achieve the feat so soon and in such a comprehensive manner, taking out the Cambia Portland Classic in an eight-stroke canter at the weekend.
Lydia Ko has shown the way for many teenagers in recent years and Henderson promises to much of the same for young women in her homeland. The Ontario native was playing junior amateur events just last year but has now become the first Canadian winner on Tour since Lori Kane back in 2001.
Brooke Henderson (Credit: LPGA Tour)
“It’s amazing,” Henderson said, “It’s such an unbelievable thing it’s not even real life yet I don’t think.”
“To get that and for Canadian fans and Canadian support that I’ve received over the last couple months and last couple years is unbelievable, so I’m happy to bring one home for Canada.”
In warm conditions, Henderson entered the final day five strokes ahead and blew the margin out to seven with three birdies on the front nine holes, turning the back nine into a pleasant stroll to victory.
“I had a number in mind, and I was trying to chase after it, and I was trying not to watch the girls I was playing with, Sandra and Morgan, or any other players.” she said.
Henderson finished with a tournament record 21-under par, ahead of the trio of Candie Kung, Ha Na Jang and Pornanong Phatlum who finished joint runner-up at 13-under. Azahara Munoz, Austin Ernst and Mo Martin were a stroke further back in a tie for fifth.
Minjee Lee was the low Australian at eight-under in a tie for 18th, while Karrie Webb, Sarah Jane Smith and Stacey Keating finished well back in the field of the Australians who made the weekend.
With the victory sure to be huge for Canadian fans, Henderson’s victory could not be timed better as hometown fans will be able to immediately celebrate her homecoming as the LPGA heads to Canada next week, for the CP Women’s Open in Vancouver.
“The Canadian support has been unbelievable and the Canadian media have been really following me,” Henderson said. “I’m sure my phone is blowing up pretty badly right now.”
“But yeah, you mentioned Lorie Kane being the last Canadian winner on the women’s Tour, I think this will be a big deal back home.”