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Brooke Henderson caps a near-perfect 10 on LPGA

Brooke Henderson wins LPGA's Hugel-Air Premia L.A. Open
Brooke Henderson braces for a congratulatory soaking from Jin Young Ko after Henderson’s victory Saturday at the LPGA’s Hugel-Air Premia L.A. Open.

Canadian erases 4-stroke deficit in final round to win Hugel-Air Premia L.A. Open for 1st title in 2 years and 10th of her career

After nearly two years without a victory on the LPGA, Brooke Henderson simply summed up her key to winning the Hugel-Air Premia L.A. Open on Saturday: “Sometimes … it’s meant to be.”

Henderson made a clutch par save on the last hole at Wilshire Country Club to avoid a bogey-bogey finish and post a one-stroke victory, her 10th on the LPGA. She is the winningest Canadian golfer, male or female, on any major professional tour.

“To get my ninth win was such a big deal in Canada, and since then [in 2019] I’ve been just trying to chase that 10th one," Henderson said. “To get it here, it's just … I'm just so happy and it's hard to believe.”

Henderson shot 4-under 67 for a 16-under 268 total, one stroke better than American Jessica Korda, who led after each of the first three rounds before slipping with a final-round 72. (For scores, click here.)

Henderson erased a four-stroke deficit to begin the final round. She made birdie at the par-4 11th hole to take her first lead, then holed a pivotal chip-in for 2 at the par-3 12th. She would add her sixth birdie of the day at the par-4 14th, capping a run of three birdies in four holes that propelled her to victory.

“Today, I was making a lot of birdies, and I think probably the biggest break was 12, that chip-in,” she said. “You know, those breaks can be really small or they can be really big. Sometimes it's just missing a divot, or today I had tons of opportunity where the people I was playing with showed me the line on putts. They were always just a little bit behind me, so I always had a read on every green. That just only happens when it's meant to be.”

Henderson, now 23, has been winning on the LPGA since 2015, when as a 17-year-old Monday qualifier she rolled to an eight-stroke victory at the Cambia Portland Classic. Less than a year later, she claimed her lone major title to date, the Women’s PGA. She has posted 10 other top-10s in major championships in 32 starts, showing her big-game prowess.

Known as an aggressive player and one of the LPGA’s best ball-strikers, Henderson credits her victory to her recent work with her sister/caddie Brittany on the greens.

“We worked on grip, different reading techniques,” Henderson said. “We're just trying to find what's working the best, and to be honest, it's just the extra time that we've been putting in that's made the biggest difference. That extra time has given us some extra confidence, and just for me, just over putts now I feel like I can make them, which is how you want to feel when you're putting.

“And so, I'm just grateful that we're able to figure it out. And like I said, it's a work in progress. Just always trying to get a little better.”

The L.A. Open was the last of seven U.S.-based tournaments to start the LPGA’s 2021 schedule. The event, which ended a day earlier than usual, on a Saturday, gives the players extra time to get to Singapore for this week’s HSBC Women’s World Championship, the first of two consecutive events in Asia.

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