The Associated Press KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) — For the final two days of the Lotte Championship, it was pretty clear that the only player who could beat Brooke Henderson was Brooke Henderson.
She wasn’t about to let it happen Saturday at windy Ko Olina Golf Club, where she won by four shots. The Canadian was too talented, and she had some very important people to play for, dedicating her victory to the people involved in the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus crash in Saskatchewan.
“It’s extremely sad, a terrible tragedy what happened up there,” Henderson said. “I know it kind of affected my whole country. Everybody really took it kind of personally.
“For all the survivors that are still fighting through it and all the ones that have passed away, I want to show them that we’re here for them and we’re supporting them. They’re always going to be in our thoughts and prayers.”
Henderson, who won’t turn 21 until September, won her sixth LPGA Tour title, leaving her just two short of Sandra Post for most wins by a Canadian player.
She collected $300,000, giving her nearly $500,000 this year and $4 million in her three-year career. Her final-round 3-under 69 left her at 12 under, four ahead of Azahara Munoz, whose 67 was the low round on a very difficult scoring day.
It was Munoz’s best finish in more than four years. Henderson and sixth-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn (69) were the only other golfers to break 70 on a day that featured rain squalls and winds gusting to 50 kph.
“Crazy windy again” said Henderson. “Just being able to adjust to it, kind of stay poised in it. Things aren’t going to always go perfectly, but I felt like my ball striking was probably the best it’s ever been.”
Jutanugarn tied for third, five back, with top-ranked Feng Shanshan (71) and third-ranked Park Inbee (72), who bogeyed the last two holes.
Henderson came into the week ranked 14th and in a comfort zone. She has never finished worse than 11th at Ko Olina.
Jutanugarn, from Thailand, secured her fifth Top 10 this year but couldn’t get the eighth victory of her career. At the turn, the 2016 Player of the Year was 3 under and three back. She parred her final 11 holes.
Hawaii’s Michelle Wie tied for 11th after shooting 71.
Poulter takes over Heritage lead
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — The resurgent Ian Poulter shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the RBC Heritage, putting him in position for his second victory in three weeks.
Before April, Poulter had not won on tour in more than five years. Now, he’s one more solid round away from adding another title to his dramatic win at the Houston Open on April 1.
Seven of the Englishman’s last 11 rounds have been in the 60s after having just three such showings in his first 20 rounds this season. His latest left him at 13-under 200, and a stroke ahead of Luke List (67) and Kim Si Woo (68).
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson failed to make a move and, after a 72, was tied for 41st, 10 shots behind.
Poulter and his chasers will have a quick turnaround Sunday with officials starting play at 7 a.m. and going off in threesomes on both tees because of expected bad weather in the afternoon.
Second-round leader Bryson DeChambeau had the confident stride of a pending winner with his first solo 36-hole lead as a pro — at least until the third round got going. After grabbing a two-shot lead with a birdie on No. 1, DeChambeau imploded with a triple-bogey eight on the normally birdie-able par-5 second.