Canadian Sensation Henderson Gets First LPGA Win
Brooke Henderson made history in Portland on Sunday, even if there weren’t a lot of people paying attention. While most of the golfing public was focused on Jason Day’s win at the PGA Championship, Henderson was in the process of winning the Cambia Portland Classic.
Henderson, who won’t celebrate her 18th birthday until September 10, separated herself from the field by eight shots after shooting four rounds in the 60s and completing 72 holes in 21-under par 267. That’s a tournament record relative to par.
Henderson, who had to qualify on Monday to get into the field, is the second player in LPGA history to win a tournament by traveling that route; the first was Laurel Kean in 2000. She is the third player to win an LPGA tournament before her 18th birthday, Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson are the other two. She is also the first Canadian to win on the LPGA Tour since Lori Kane at the LPGA Takefuji Classic in 2001, something that means a lot to Henderson.
“I think Canadian golf is really growing,” she said, “and there’s a lot of great players coming up. But to get that [win] 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.”
The won marked the realization Henderson had nurtured since childhood.
“When I was a little girl I always pictured the fans around the green and watching another player putt,” she said. “And I saw that just the other day, and I was like, ‘Wow, this is pretty cool, and I’m right where I want to be, playing on the LPGA Tour.’”
And Henderson likely be playing on the LPGA Tour for a while. She is already exempt into the Evian next month and her win provided her with a slot in the CNE Group Tour Championship this fall. She is also exempt into the first four majors of 2016 (all but the Evian).
Ironically, her next start will come this coming week in her native land at the CP Women’s Open in Vancouver.