American Danielle Kang birdied the par-5 18th hole on Sunday to edge defending champion Brooke Henderson and win the Women's PGA Championship, making her first LPGA triumph a major victory.

Kang, who never managed a top-10 finish in 30 prior major starts, fired a three-under par 68 to finish 72 holes at Olympia Fields near Chicago on 13-under 271, edging Canadian teen star Henderson by one stroke.

South Koreans took the next four spots with Chella Choi third on 274 after a closing 71. Lee Mi-Hyang, Amy Yang and Kim Sei-Young shared fourth on 275 with South Korean Park In-Bee and American Lexi Thompson sharing seventh on 277.

Kang, a 24-year-old from San Francisco, is a two-time US Women's Amateur champion whose best prior LPGA finish had been a third-place effort in 2013. Her best major showing had been a share of 14th at the 2012 US Women's Open.

After a birdie at the par-4 second, Kang took a bogey at the third, then began the back nine with another bogey.

But from there she ran off four birdies in a row starting at the par-4 11th to seize a three-stroke lead on 13-under.

Henderson, a 19-year-old coming off a victory two weeks ago at the Meijer LPGA Classic, birdied the par-5 first and par-3 fourth and seventh holes to reach 10-under, then stayed steady with nine consecutive birdies.

Three down with two holes to play, Henderson closed with back-to-back birdies at the par-3 17th and had an eagle putt stop rolling just short of the cup at 18 to finish on 272.

Kang, meanwhile, took a bogey at 17 to fall back into a tie for the lead, only to finish with a birdie to claim her long-sought first title after playing her first LPGA event in 2011.

Choi, also seeking her first major crown, fired a 71 but could not join the title fight at the finish.

The 26-year-old from Daegu won her only LPGA crown at the 2015 Marathon Classic. Her best prior finish in any major was a share of fifth at this event in 2013.

LEADING FINAL SCORES

271 - Danielle Kang 69-66-68-68

272 - Brooke Henderson (CAN) 68-69-69-66

274 - Chella Choi (KOR) 66-70-67-71

275 - Lee Mi-Hyang (KOR) 69-67-72-67, Amy Yang (KOR) 65-71-71-68, Kim Sei-Young (KOR) 69-66-72-68

277 - Park In-Bee (KOR) 73-67-69-68, Lexi Thompson 70-69-69-69

278 - Kelly Shon 77-63-71-67, Stacy Lewis 74-67-70-67

279 - Lizette Salas 71-72-67-69, Madelene Sagstrom (SWE) 70-72-66-71, Shin Ji-Yai (KOR) 70-71-64-74

280 - Jessica Korda 70-72-68-70, Brittany Lincicome 70-66-74-70, Sarah Jane Smith (AUS) 70-67-72, Gerina Piller 73-66-69-72, Ryu So-Yeon (KOR) 69-68-71-72, Park Sung-Hyun (KOR) 71-70-67-72

281 - Carlota Ciganda (ESP) 71-69-72-69, Nelly Korda 69-70-71-71, Moriya Jutanugarn (THA) 69-68-71-73, Michelle Wie 68-70-70-73, Candie Kung (TPE) 71-68-69-73

282 - Marina Alex 71-68-74-69, Hsu Wei-Ling (TPE) 69-72-71-70, Brittany Altomare 67-73-72-70, Suzann Pettersen (NOR) 71-72-66-73

© AFP

 

 

Image Source: Scott Halleran/Getty Images North America

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