GUN teenager Brooke Henderson has stunned World Number One Lydia Ko with a kick in birdie to win in extra holes at the second women's major of the year.
The two ultra talented teens went toe to toe over the back nine at Sahalee Country Club for the Women's PGA Championship, Henderson prevailing with a world class birdie at the first hole of sudden death.
Ko and Henderson ignited the crowds with some thrilling golf over the final 18, Henderson drawing first blood with a 100-foot eagle putt at the par-5 11th to get within one of Ko's lead.
She backed that up with a laser like mid-iron at the par-3 13th then holed another birdie bomb at the par-3 17th to pull even with Ko for the first time.
Playing two groups ahead of Ko, Henderson failed to take advantage of a good break after a poor drive at the 18th when she clipped overhanging branches with her second and came up 90 yards short of the green.
But she made up for it with a gutsy up and down, her 10-foot putt to save par crucial in forcing extra time.
While Henderson was holing out on 18 Ko looked like she was about to close the door on the Canadian with a stunning tee shot to within five feet of the cup at the difficult par-3 17th.
The seemingly certain birdie would have given her a one shot cushion with one hole to play but the birdie effort, uncharacteristically, slid by meaning Ko would need a three at the difficult 18th to clinch a third consecutive major.
CHECK OUT THE HIGHLIGHTS OF BROOKE HENDERSON'S BRILLIANT ROUND:
After a good drive and decent second, the 19-year-old faced a 25 foot putt for the win but could only manage par, sending the pair back to the 18th tee.
Both found the fairway and Ko, hitting first, played a gorgeous iron to 15 feet to apply the pressure.
But after a week that started with an ace on Thursday and finished with the lowest round of the tournament Sunday, Henderson hit a pin point approach with a 7-iron that finished less than three feet from the cup.
Ko duly missed and Canada had it's second women's major winner and Henderson her second LPGA career title.
At 18 years, nine months and three days she is the youngest winner of the Women's PGA though her playoff opponent still holds the record for youngest major champion after winning the Evian at 18 years, four months and 21 days last September.
“It was a pretty good day for me,” Henderson said at the trophy presentation. “I really didn't feel a ton of pressure or a ton of nerves which I think is the key to shooting 6-under in the final round and being able to play in a playoff.”
Henderson said the achievement was yet to sink in after she became only the second Canadian, after Sandra Post, to win a women's major.
“I definitely thought about this moment in my dreams but I don't know if I ever thought it would come true,” she said.
“I'm kind of speechless... I don't really know whats going on in my head right now.”
Asked about the monster eagle putt she holed on the 11th henderson said it was the shot that changed the momentum of her round.
“I was really focussing on the pace because I still had seven yards of fringe to go over and a big mound,” she said.
“I was trying to make sure I had a close birdie putt and it ended up falling in and that was the momentum changer in my round.”
Ko was typically classy in defeat and full of praise for Henderson who started the week fourth in the world rankings but likely to move higher.
“I played really solid today. Brooke just outplayed me,” Ko said in the aftermath.
“You can see her confidence is really high. And for her to go right at the pin on the 18th in the playoff, it's amazing.
“So I know that I played solid. That's all I can do. Even though I came second, I'm proud to be in this position.”
Also pleased with her week's work will be Victoria's Su Oh who fired a final round 70 to be even par for the week and T8.
Oh flirted with the lead at various times during the week and her confidence will be sky high after posting her first top 10 in a major.
She finished two shots better than Minjee Lee who was T12 while Sarah Jane Smith (T43), Katherine Kirk (T46), Karrie Webb (T50) and Sarah Kemp (T64) all made the cut but were never in contention.
PETER KNIGHT EXPLAINS WEIGHT TRANSFER WITH THE STEP THROUGH DRILL:
WOMEN’S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL LEADERBOARD:
*Won in a playoff
|T4||HEE YOUNG PARK||-2|
|T4||SO YEON RYU||-2|
|T8||SU OH (AUS)||E|
|T12||MINJEE LEE (AUS)||+2|
|T43||SARAH JANE SMITH (AUS)||+9|
|T46||KATHERINE KIRK (AUS)||+10|
|T50||KARRIE WEBB (AUS)||+11|
|T64||SARAH KEMP (AUS)||+14|
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