Brooke Henderson wins Meijer LPGA Classic


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Brooke Henderson made it a special Father’s Day.

With father and coach Dave Henderson and other family members watching, the 19-year-old Canadian won the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday for her fourth LPGA Tour title, holding off Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson by two strokes in cool, windy conditions.

“It was just like the perfect day,” she said. “My dad is my coach, he’s a great father to both my sister (caddie Brittany) and I, and he’s one of our best friends. He’s with us all the time, and he gave me a lot of lines early in the week that I didn’t know, that I wouldn’t normally take without him there. But he said, ‘If you want to win and you want to contend, you need to take these lines off the tee.’

“I did that and I had an advantage over the rest of the field all four days. So this win, I say it’s for him, but it really is for him because I probably wouldn’t have done it without him.”

“What a special gift. Brooke played amazing from start to finish,” Dave Henderson said. “She wanted to congratulate me on Father’s Day and what better way to do that and bring home a win at the Meijer?”

Henderson closed with a 66 on the Blythefield layout that was reduced to a par of 69 — the fifth hole was played as a par 3 instead of a par 5 — the final two rounds because of flooding.

Wie finished with a 65, and Thompson had a 69.

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Henderson finished at 17-under 263 and earned $300,000. She led after each of the first two rounds, shooting 63-67 at a par of 71, and had a 67 on Saturday to drop a stroke behind Thompson.

Henderson won twice last year, taking the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship for her first major, and successfully defending her title in the Cambia Portland Classic.

Henderson’s sister, Brittany, is also her caddy.

“It’s really cool. I’ve been caddying now, I guess, it’s my second full year. We work really well together and this week, everything just seemed to fall into place,” Brittany Henderson said. “Brooke’s been playing really well this year. I think we were just waiting for it to all click. This week we were able to do that.”

Brooke Henderson had three birdies in a bogey-free round. She birdied Nos. 7 and 8, while Thompson faltered.

“I missed a short one on 10, which I would have liked to have, but then I made a great birdie on No. 11,” Henderson said. “I had zero bogeys on a day like today where it was super windy. And any day on Sunday, there’s that little bit of extra pressure and you’re in contention so you want to play really well so you might push a few more shots than you would like.”

Thompson was 1 over on the first five holes with two bogeys.

Thompson hit one of the longest drives of the day on No. 9, put her approach shot within 20 feet and made the birdie putt to tie for the lead. But she bogeyed No. 10 to fall out of the lead.

“I hit my driver great the whole day, so that was definitely a positive,” Thompson said. “I didn’t roll the putter that well today. It is what it is. I hit two great last putts. I almost made the two long ones.”

Wie shared the lead early in the round and wound up with five birdies and no bogeys.

“It was tough out there,” Wie said. “The wind just started blowing and it was just interesting. Some spots are really wet, some spots are dry, but overall I felt like I played good this week and I’m happy about it.”

Su Oh (64), Madelene Sagstrom (65) and Moriya Jutanugarn (66) tied for fourth at 14 under.

Second-ranked Lydia Ko had a 68 to tie for 10th at 12-under. Top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn, coming off a playoff victory last week in Canada over Thompson and In Gee Chun, had a 69 to for 22nd at 9 under.

Though they could not yet provide an exact dollar amount, organizers say this year’s Classic raised at least $1 million for Meijer’s Simply Give, which stocks food pantries in the Midwest. The $1 million, a record for the Classic, brings the total amount of money raised over four years to more than $3.1 million.

“The Meijer LPGA Classic has an incredible impact on our hungry neighbors, and it’s thanks to the ongoing community support that we met our goal of raising at least $1 million during this year’s tournament,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said in a statement Sunday. “We look forward to continuing this tradition again next year.”

The 2018 Meijer LPGA Classic is scheduled for June 11 to June 17 at Blythefield.

–24 Hour News 8 contributed to this report.—–Online:Meijer LPGA Classic

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