Brooke Henderson joins Annika Sorenstam and Kathy Whitworth as the 3rd player to win back-to-back titles at the Cambia Portland Classic Presented by JTBC. Henderson finished at 14-under par and defeated Stacy Lewis by 4-shots. She is the second wire-to-wire winner on the LPGA this season, the first was Ha Na Jang at the Coates Golf Championship back in February.
“To be back here in Portland, it’s so beautiful,” Henderson said after her win. “To repeat and try to defend a championship for the first time and be able to do it is, I think, a really big deal. Third win on the LPGA Tour is really cool.”
The defending champion began the week with the lead and never looked back as she became the first Cambia Portland Classic wire-to-wire winner since Mike Miyazato in 2012. Henderson admittedly did not play her best in the final round but was able to hit good shots when she needed to and pulled away from Mariajo Uribe (-8) over the final two holes.
“I didn’t really play my best today, but I hit good shots when I needed to and got some good breaks, too. That’s always really nice,” Henderson said. “It was really tight all day until I looked at the scoreboard on 17 and saw that I was going to have quite a big lead going into the last hole. That was definitely very comforting. It was kind of a weird day of golf. I hit some really good shots and hit some really bad shots, but, like, it all worked out.”
When told that she joined the likes of Sorenstam and Whitworh as back-to-back winners in Portland, Henderson was honored.
“They were two incredible women that did amazing things out on the golf course and in their own lives.” Henderson shared during her winner’s press conference.
“To be in the same sentence and acknowledged alongside them is very cool. I’m really excited I was able to do to this year, and maybe we’ll try for a third next year.”
In 2015, Henderson cruised to an 8-shot victory and while she didn’t have her best game this year, it was enough to pick up her 3rd career victory and 2nd of the season. The no. 2 player in the world outlasted former event winners Suzann Pettersen (-9) and Austin Ernst (-8), group partner Mariajo Uribe (-8), and a charging Stacy Lewis (-10).
Uribe, in search of her first career victory, was in great position through 11 holes. Bogey-free with 3 birdies on the card, she had tied Brooke for the lead at 14-under par. Unfortunately, she immediately ran into trouble on the par-5 12th hole; after hitting her 2nd shot into the trees she would card a bogey. The hole ended up being a two-shot swing in favor of Henderson who birdied. Uribe would struggle down the stretch and end up in a tie for 5th at 8-under par with Austin Ernst.
Stacy Lewis, who picked up her 11th runner-up finish since her last win at the 2014 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, feels confident heading into the U.S. Women’s Open next week.
“Well, today was really nice.” Lewis told the media following her round. “Today, especially the first I mean 10, 12 holes I played were really good. Had some awkward numbers there at the end, but really just excited about the way I played. Felt really comfortable. I made some good putts when I needed to. Overall, the week was really solid and something I needed going into a major.”
Lewis shot 67 and 69 in her final two rounds and was all smiles as she packed up on her way to San Martin, California.“The putting got better every day this week. I am more comfortable today,” Lewis said. “These greens got so firm and fast at the edged the day. It was just hard to make putts. Made some good par putts. Those are the ones, some little 4- and 5-footers, those are the ones you need at a major championship. I did that today under pressure. Definitely much more comfortable with the putter.”
Cheyenne Woods posted her best career result and first career top-10 finish this week, placing in a tie for 6th at 7-under par. Her previous best finish was T23 at the 2014 Handa Australian Open.
Stacy Lewis notched her fifth top-10 finish of 2016 and finished as runner-up for a third time this season. Lewis has 11 runner-up finishes since her last win in 2014.