KANG’S MAJOR WIN HER FIRST ON TOUR
Defending champion Brooke Henderson finishes in 2nd place
OLYMPIA FIELDS, ILL.» From a young age, Danielle Kang’s parents instilled in her the belief that anything was possible. Even major championships.
Kang birdied the final hole to win the Women’s PGA Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour title, edging defending champion Brooke Henderson.
Kang bogeyed the tricky par-3 17th, and Henderson closed with two birdies to move into a tie for the lead, coming up just short on a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th. But Kang responded with two solid shots to get to the green in two, and then two-putted for the victory.
“I just told myself it was my week. It was my day,” Kang said.
Kang lost her father, K.S., to cancer in 2013, but her mother, Grace Lee, was one of the first people to congratulate her on the victory. Kang also face-timed with brother Alex, an instrumental figure in her performance at Olympia Fields, after the trophy presentation.
Kang’s father caddied for her when she won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2010 and 2011. She keeps a journal where she writes messages to her father.
“If I could wish anything, I would wish that my dad saw me won,” said Kang, wiping tears from her eyes. “I think that it’s been a really difficult road for me the past four or five years. It’s life, though, you pick yourself up and you have to keep working hard at it, and then believe in what you’re doing, and not letting yourself down.
“I just know that he’s here for it. What are the odds that my first win is a major? Pretty sure he had something to do with it. It’s just incredible. But I know that he was there, because I felt — I felt him with me every day, and I still do.”
It was another great finish for the LPGA Tour’s second major of the season. Henderson beat Lydia Ko in a playoff last year at Sahalee in Washington.
The 24-year-old Kang trailed Henderson and Chella Choi by one after she bogeyed the par-4 10th. But Kang moved in front with four straight birdies on Nos. 11-14, getting hot with her putter at the right time.
Kang also had a clutch 21-foot par putt at 16 on her way to a 4-under 68 and the winner’s check of $525,000. Her previous best finish in a major was a tie for 14th in the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open.
Henderson closed with a 66 to finish a stroke back. Choi, who was tied with Kang for the lead coming into the day, was third at 10 under after a 71.
“Really, she won this, and I was just trying to make it closer and maybe force a playoff but, I played great and I wouldn’t really take anything back,” Henderson said.
Mi Hyang Lee (67), Amy Yang (68) and Sei Young Kim (68) tied for fourth at 9 under, and Lexi Thompson (69) and Inbee Park (68) were another two strokes back.
Kang’s first victory in her 144th LPGA start was a popular one in some high-profile circles. Michelle Wie, one of Kang’s closest friends on tour, followed her around right after the win. Dustin Johnson texted, “That’s how you’re supposed to play, congrats.”
Perry wins Senior Open by two strokes.
PEABODY, MASS.» Kenny Perry claimed his second U.S. Senior Open, pulling away from Kirk Triplett at Salem Country Club to finish at 16-under and win by two strokes.
The 56-year-old Perry closed with a 2-under 68 for a record score of 264. It is his fourth major victory on the senior tour.
Perry started the day a stroke behind Triplett but five ahead of the next-closest contender, Brandt Jobe. Triplett, who tied the tournament record with a 62 in the opening round, had five bogeys Sunday and shot 71.
Jobe had a 70 to finish seven strokes back. Tom Lehman and Fred Couples each shot 69 to tie for fourth at 8-under.
Perry’s 264 total was three strokes better than the U.S. Senior Open record set by Hale Irwin at Saucon Valley in 2000 and matched by Perry in 2013.
Emotional Stanley wins Quicken Loans.
POTOMAC, MD.» Kyle Stanley got up-anddown for par from just over the 18th green to win the Quicken Loans National on the first playoff hole with Charles Howell III.
On a chaotic final day at TPC Potomac that included a 5-minute delay for a pop-up storm, Stanley and Howell finished at 7-under 273 after matching final-round 4-under 66s. Howell had a 21-foot putt to win on the final hole of regulation that rolled over the left edge of the cup.
In the playoff, both missed the fairway and the green. Howell’s chip came up short and he missed the 11-foot par putt. Stanley chipped to 5 feet and pumped his fist as the putt dropped.
It was the second career victory for Stanley.
Danielle Kang, right, receives a kiss from her mom, Grace Lee, as Kang holds the championship trophy after winning the Women’s PGA Championship golf tournament Sunday at Olympia Fields Country Club.