Brooke Henderson used a brilliant putting game to become a first-time major champion Sunday, edging world No. 1 Lydia Ko in a playoff to capture the Women’s PGA Championship.
The 18-year-old Canadian claimed the title when she rolled in a short birdie putt on the first playoff hole at the Sahalee Country Club course near Seattle, Washington.
Henderson said the win feels like a dream.
“I don’t know whether I thought it would come true,” she said. “I’m just speechless. I don’t know what’s going on in my head right now.”
Henderson hit a superb approach on the No. 18 playoff hole as her ball landed about 20 feet inside of Ko’s ball and just three feet from the cup. Ko, 19, settled for par on the playoff hole.
“I thought I needed to do something special here because I didn’t want to go to extra (playoff) holes, especially against her,” Henderson said of her second shot in the playoff.
“I hit a pretty solid seven iron and it rolled out pretty nicely and I was able to make the putt.”
Henderson’s victory capped a fantastic day for the young guns on the LPGA Tour as the three leaders down the stretch on the final day were all 20 or younger.
Henderson closed with a six-under 65 Sunday to finish in a tie with a six-under 278 total. She had to come from behind to beat Ko as she forced the playoff by draining a 50-foot putt on No. 17 and then made a 20 footer for a dramatic par-save on 18.
New Zealand’s Ko, who was seeking to win her third consecutive major championship, fired a four-under 67 on Sunday.