Brooke Henderson eagled the first playoff hole to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic on Sunday as Lindsey Weaver-Wright remained in search of a first career title.
Canada’s Henderson, who captured her 11th LPGA title, charged to the top of the leaderboard with a seven-under-par 64 at Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey.
She got off to a quick start with three birdies in the first six holes before an eagle at the par-five 9th. Henderson added birdies at 12 and 18 to grab the clubhouse lead.
She was quickly joined by Weaver-Wright, whose six birdies included three in the last four holes.
The American, who joined the LPGA Tour in 2018, poured in a long birdie putt at the 17th and then, after coming up short of the green at 18, she drained a testing birdie attempt to force the playoff.
When they returned to 18 for the playoff, Henderson was dialled in. She stuck her approach six feet from the cup as Weaver again came up short of the green. After Weaver needed two putts, Henderson had the luxury of knowing she could take two for the victory.
The Canadian didn’t need them, rapping in the eagle effort.
“With playoffs you only really have one opportunity, so I just tried to hit really solid shots,” Henderson, ranked 11th in the world, said. “To walk up that fairway and see that I only had a pretty short putt was a big relief.
“And just needing two putts to win was also really clutch.”
Henderson, who changed her putting grip before last week’s US Women’s Open, said she was “more comfortable” with the new style.
“People are always telling me to work on my putting, so just trying to make slow progress and trying to get a little bit better and a little bit more consistent,” she said. “It’s been working really well.”
England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff eagled the 18th hole to card a four-under-par 67 that left her alone in third on 202.
Former world No 1 Lydia Ko flirted with the lead but finished tied for fourth on 10 under with Switzerland’s Albane Valenzuela. Both carded 67s.
American Brittany Lincicome, expecting her second child in early September, was 10 under through 16 holes, but a three-putt bogey at the 17th slowed her down and she finished with a share of sixth alongside Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and American Marina Alex.
Hataoka had jumped to an early lead with birdies at four of the first five holes, but she couldn’t keep pace on the back nine as she closed the 54-hole tournament with a 68.
© Agence France-Presse