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Minjee Lee 3rd as Brooke Henderson joins Canada's greats

Henderson joins Canada's greats (Photo: Henry Peters )
Canada's Brooke Henderson has won her 8th LPGA Tour title, successfully defending her 2018 Lotte Championship victory with a massive four shot win over South Korean Eun Hee Ji with another shot back to Australia’s Minjee Lee and Thailand’s Ariya Jutangarn at Ko Olina on Oahu in Hawaii.

It was the same winning margin as in her victory twelve months ago for Henderson who now joins Sandra Post, Mike Weir and George Knudson as the most prolific winning Canadians in professional golf on either the PGA or LPGA Tours.

Given that Henderson is just 21 years of age and that she shows no signs of slowing then she will race ahead of her celebrated countrymen and woman before long.

Henderson began the final round tied with Nelly Korda and, although she bogeyed her very first hole today, she was quickly back in control with birdies at the 3rd and 5th holes and, in the windy conditions, she would make no further mistakes.

Korda, Ji, Jutanugarn and Lee chased hard for much of the final round although blunders late in their rounds by both Korda and Jutanugarn eliminated any hope of anything other than the almost inevitable result.

Korda recorded a disastrous quadruple-bogey 8 at the 18th hole while Jutanugarn dropped three shots in her last four holes to halt what appeared at one stage as if it might be a worthy challenge to Henderson.

Korda also double bogeyed her 7th hole so she will look back on the final day as a missed opportunity.

For Henderson, however, her win reverses some recent indifferent form having missed the cut at the Kia Classic and then finishing 17th at the ANA Inspiration.

Despite being unable to convert a potentially winning position through 54 holes, it was Lee's third top 3 finish of the season having finished runner-up in two events in Asia in February and she will move to 5th on the 2019 LPGA Tour money list with earnings close to US$500,000.

"I didn't do as well as I wanted to," said Lee, perhaps stating the obvious. Obviously, the wind was pretty tough today, even probably the windiest out of all the days we played out here.

"Yeah, I'm a little disappointed with how I finished. Yeah, what can you do? I can improve on my game for next week."

Hannah Green was the only other Australian to make the cut and finished in 27th place, her second-best finish of the season thus far.

The LPGA Tour will now play the Los Angeles Open.




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