Golf roundup: Brooke Henderson wins LA Open for her 10th LPGA Tour title
Brooke Henderson rallied to win the HUGEL Air Premia LA Open on Saturday for her 10th LPGA Tour title, chipping in for birdie on the par-three 12th hole in an early back-nine burst and getting up and down for par on the last.
Four strokes behind leader Jessica Korda and three back of top-ranked Jin Young Ko entering the sunny day at Wilshire Country Club, Henderson closed with her second consecutive four-under-par 67 for a one-stroke victory over Korda.
“I definitely am a firm believer when you’re in the winner’s circle, you’re getting a lot of breaks and it’s sort of meant to be,” Henderson said. “I was making a lot of birdies, and I think probably the biggest break was 12, that chip-in. You know, those breaks can be really small or they can be really big.”
Henderson, a 23-year-old Canadian, birdied the par-four 11th to take the lead at 15 under, hitting a 144-yard shot to three feet of the back-right pin. She holed out from 70 feet from right and below the green on 12 and made a six-foot birdie putt on the short par-four 14th.
“I was definitely disappointed that I missed the green there,” Henderson said about the 12th. “Fortunately, I had a lot of green to work with. But to catch the hole and make birdie there, it was definitely a huge momentum change and I think that’s probably what won it today.”
Henderson bogeyed the par-four 17th, and her lead was cut to two. She then chipped inside two feet for par on the par-three 18th after her eight-iron shot rolled off the right edge of the green and into a low collection area.
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The sixth-ranked Henderson won for the first time since the Meijer LPGA Classic in June 2019. She finished at 16-under 268 to break the event record of 14 under set by Minjee Lee in 2019.
Korda closed with a 72, missing a chance for her second victory of the year after leading after each of the first three rounds. She won the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January for her sixth LPGA Tour title.
“Really frustrating. Really couldn’t get anything going,” Korda said. “I was hitting it really good, and then just it wasn’t happening for me for some reason.”
She parred the first six and bogeyed Nos. 7 and 9, made her first birdie of the day on the par-five 13th, then gave the stroke back on 14.
“I tried. I tried to force a couple birdies,” Korda said. “I had a great little eight-iron into the par-five 15th, and [it] takes the biggest bounce I’ve ever seen and goes over the green.”
While Henderson made her move early on the back nine, Ko bogeyed the 11th and 12th in a 72 that left her tied with Australia’s Hannah Green at 14 under. The South Korean star was coming off a two-week break after finishing seventh in the ANA Inspiration.
“Was tough,” Ko said. “Wind was difficult out there. I couldn’t focus on my game.”
Green eagled the 14th and birdied the par-five 15th in a 66.
Major champions So Yeon Ryu (68) and Angela Stanford (70) tied for fifth at 12 under.
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Oosthuizen-Schwartzel team leads
Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel birdied six of their final eight holes to shoot a nine-under 63 and take a one-stroke lead at 19-under 197 into the final round of the Zurich Classic in Avondale, La.
The South African tandem birdied the par-three 17th with Oosthuizen’s 33-foot putt, and Oosthuizen missed an eagle on the par-five 18th by four inches before tapping in for the lead while wearing a somewhat disgusted look because of his narrowly missed previous putt from nearly 17 feet.
Oosthuizen then allowed for a smile while fist-bumping Schwartzel in acknowledgment of a successful round in a best-ball format that included nine birdies — five by Schwartzel and four by Oosthuizen in the PGA Tour’s lone regular-season team event.
The tournament will close with an alternate-shot round.
“It’s going to be tough tomorrow,” Oosthuizen said. “Anyone within four shots of the lead has got a chance with the format that it is tomorrow. The way the wind is the whole week, I think the golf course plays very tough, especially in alternate shot.”
In all, 17 teams were no more than four strokes back.
Australians Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith also shot a 63 to move into a tie for second at 18 under with Cameron Champ and Tony Finau, who shot a 67.
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