Canada’s Brooke Henderson birdied the final hole at the Evian Championship on Sunday to end her long wait for a second Major title.
The 2016 Women’s PGA champion shot a final-round 71 for a 17 under par total and claimed the title by a single shot from American world No 283 Sophia Schubert, who closed with a 68.
The 24-year-old Canadian had led by two overnight, but struggled to find form in the ideal final-day conditions and fell out of the lead after two bogeys and a double – she four-putted the 6th – in the first 11 holes.
But, one behind Schubert, she hit back with birdies at the short 14th and long 15th and was tied for the lead at the closing par-five hole.
She pulled her tee shot but hit her third shot to eight feet and holed out for victory.
“I didn’t get the start I wanted and it certainly wasn’t my best day,” said Henderson, who led by three after two 64s and was still in control after her third-round 68. “But they say Majors don’t start until the back nine on Sunday and I kept that in my mind.
“I managed to stay patient, made a few birdies on the way home and the one at 18 was really special. I’m super excited to win my second Major and my 12th win on Tour.”
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Only 18 when she won her first Major, it has taken an unexpectedly long time for No 2 to come round.
Part of the turnaround is thanks to a new putting technique and leaving the flag in the cup.
“I took a break a couple of months ago and went home and spent time with my Mum and Dad – he’s my coach – and my sister, Brittany [her caddie] also helped me work on a few things in my game.
“I came back and won a tournament last month and now this. I feel I’ve got a really good mindset and now I’m just hoping to continue with the same form.”
The 26-year-old Schubert, a former US Women’s Amateur champion, fell just short of a fairytale success. But second place for the LPGA rookie marked an incredible breakthrough.
“I was just trying to stay calm coming down the stretch and didn’t know until the last hole where I stood,” revealed Schubert, whose one professional victory came on the Symetra Tour in 2019.
“I decided not to look at the leaderboards.
“It was not to be, but I’m very happy with my effort and I just want to carry the momentum through the rest of the season.”
Five players shared third place on 15 under par – Mai Saigo (65), Lydia Ko (66), Kim Hyo-joo (67), Charley Hull (67) and Carlota Ciganda (68).
World No 1 Ko Jin-young finished in the next group on 13-under after a 69 – the same mark as former world No 1 Nelly Korda (69) and the player in second place overnight Ryu So-yeon, who shot a disappointing 73.
South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai finished on 11 under for a share of 15th place.
© Agence France-Presse