Early in the week, Canada’s Brooke Henderson appeared to be right at home in Hawaii. She was the 36-hole leader at the Lotte Championship, and extended her advantage to five strokes at one point in the third round. But a four-putt double-bogey on the 16th and a bogey on the 18th slowed her momentum and left Henderson with a much less-comfortable one-shot lead over Mo Martin.
But when the field at Ko’Olina Golf Club in Honolulu experienced more high winds during the final round, it ultimately worked in Henderson’s favour. Her John Daly-esque swing stood up to the tough conditions, as Henderson finished with a three-under 69, one of just three players to shoot in the 60s, to claim the title by four strokes over Azahara Munoz.
“I was quite disappointed after I finished my round yesterday,” Henderson after her final round. “I still had a one-shot lead, and I still was playing great golf. I just tried to forget about yesterday, and just go out and try to make a lot of birdies and try to get out front and stay there.”
Henderson finished the week at 12-under 276. Behind Munoz, the trio of current world No.1 Shanshan Feng and former world No.1s Inbee Park and Ariya Jutanugarn all finished in a tie for third, five shots behind Henderson.
This was Henderson’s first win of the 2018 season, coming off two wins in 2017, and the sixth of the her LPGA career. With two more wins, she’ll tie Sandra Post for the most LPGA wins recorded by a Canadian. Seeing as Henderson is just 20, the record appears to be within her reach.