Brooke Henderson won the Cambia Portland Classic by eight strokes on Sunday to become the third-youngest champion in LPGA Tour history at 17 years, 11 months and six days.
The Canadian closed with a three-under par 69 at Columbia Edgewater to finish at 21-under par 267, the lowest total since the event went from 54 holes to 72 in 2013.
Lydia Ko set the age record as an amateur in the 2012 Canadian Women’s Open at 15 years, four months and two days. She also won the Canadian event in 2013 at 16, and won four times at 17. Lexi Thompson won the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic at 16 years, seven months and eight days.
Henderson’s eight-stroke margin is the largest in the history of the event and the biggest on the LPGA Tour since Jiyah Shin won the 2012 Women’s British Open by nine shots.
Henderson also became the first Canadian winner since Lorie Kane in the 2001 Takefuji Classic and joined Laurel Kean as other only Monday qualifiers to win. Kean accomplished the feat in the 2000 Rail Classic.
Henderson earned US$195,000 for the win and has made US$661,818 in 10 events this year. Last year, LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan denied Henderson’s age petition, preventing her from playing Q-school. Because she is assured of finishing among the top 40 in earnings this year, Henderson is set to earn a tour card next year.
Henderson bogeyed the final hole, only her third dropped stroke of the week, and had 24 birdies. She got into the field on Monday last week with a 68, then shot 66-67-65 to take a five-stroke lead into the final round.
Pornanong Phatlum (68), Ha Na Jang (70) and Kaohsiung-born Candie Kung (70) tied for second.
Henderson never allowed an opening Sunday. She made two-putt birdies at the par-five fifth and seventh to reach 20-under, and holed a 20-foot birdie putt at the par-four ninth to take an eight-stroke lead.
She made a three-footer for birdie at the par-five 12th, then stumbled with a bogey at 13. Henderson made her final birdie at the par-four 17th, knocking in a 10-foot putt from the fringe.
Henderson hit her drive in a fairway bunker at 18, but with a large lead, pitched out of the sand, hit her approach to 20 feet and two-putted for a bogey.
She also won the Symetra Tour’s Four Winds Invitational in June in Indiana, and tied for fifth in the Women’s PGA Championship — the second of the LPGA Tour’s five majors.
Defending champion Austin Ernst shot a 68 to tie for fifth at 12-under. Morgan Pressel, second after three rounds, had a 75 to tie for 10th at 10-under.
Taiwan’s Min Lee shot a 73 to tie for 18th place with Yani Tseng, who shot 70, while Hsu Wei-ling shot 75 to finish at three-over to tie for 60th.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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