Getty Images

Henderson wins sixth LPGA title in memory of Humboldt

By Associated PressApril 15, 2018, 4:29 am

KAPOLEI, Hawaii – For the final two days of the Lotte Championship, it was pretty clear that the only player who could beat Brooke Henderson was Brooke Henderson.

She wasn't about to let it happen Saturday at windy Ko Olina Golf Club, where she won by four shots. The Canadian was too talented, and she had some very important people to play for, dedicating her victory to the people involved in the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus crash in Saskatchewan.

''It's extremely sad, a terrible tragedy what happened up there,'' Henderson said. ''I know it kind of affected my whole country. Everybody really took it kind of personally.

''For all the survivors that are still fighting through it and all the ones that have passed away, I want to show them that we're here for them and we're supporting them. They're always going to be in our thoughts and prayers.''

Henderson, who won't be 21 until September, won her sixth LPGA Tour title, leaving her just two short of Sandra Post for most wins by a Canadian player.

She collected $300,000, giving her nearly $500,000 this year and $4 million in her three-year career. Her final-round 3-under 69 left her at 12 under, four ahead of Azahara Munoz, whose 67 was the low round on a very difficult scoring day.


Full-field scores from the Lotte Championship


It was Munoz's best finish in more than four years. Henderson and sixth-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn (69) were the only other golfers to break 70 on a day that featured rain squalls and winds gusting to 30 mph.

''Crazy windy again'' said Henderson, who was third in greens in regulation (52 of 72) and sixth in driving distance (288.8) for the week. ''Just being able to adjust to it, kind of stay poised in it. Things aren't going to always go perfectly, but I felt like my ball striking was probably the best it's ever been.''

Jutanugarn tied for third, five back, with top-ranked Shanshan Feng (71) and third-ranked Inbee Park (72), who bogeyed the last two holes.

Henderson came into the week ranked 14th and in a comfort zone. She has never finished worse than 11th at Ko Olina.

At the halfway point, she was 10 under, bogey-free and two shots ahead. That stretched to five at the turn Friday, before putting problems brought the field back into it.

Henderson led by just one heading into the final day. She played the first 11 holes Saturday in 2 under to carve out a three-shot advantage, then faltered again. Her only bogey came on the 12th and she missed a short birdie putt at the next hole.

This time she recovered quickly, hitting driver-driver within 20 yards of the 14th green, then sinking a short birdie putt. She drained a 10-footer for another birdie one the 16th, where she four-putted Friday.

''Mentally I was in a great spot this week,'' Henderson said. ''I missed a couple putts, which you could argue that mentally I wasn't there because of a couple mishits, but I think to recover from that and kind of put it in the past and then go out and make some more birdies. And, being the leader since early Thursday, that does add a little of pressure.''

Munoz and Jutanugarn put together the only serious charges of the final round. Both came up a few holes short.

Munoz, who has struggled with illness injury the past few years, climbed 13 places the final day. She was two shots back after her fifth birdie of the day, at the 14th, but parred in.

Jutanugarn, from Thailand, secured her fifth Top 10 this year but couldn't get the eighth victory of her career. At the turn, the 2016 Player of the Year was 3 under and three back. She parred her final 11 holes.

Hawaii's Michelle Wie tied for 11th after shooting 71.

Getty Images

LPGA back in L.A.: Inbee Park leads by 1

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 1:53 am

LOS ANGELES - Inbee Park shot a 5-under 66 for a one-shot lead in the opening round of the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open in the LPGA's return to Los Angeles after a 13-year absence.

Showers ended shortly before Park's threesome, including second-ranked Lexi Thompson, teed off Thursday at windy Wilshire Country Club just south of Hollywood.

Using a new putter, Park birdied four consecutive holes on the back nine before a bogey on the par-4 17th. She quickly recovered and rolled in birdie putts on the second and fifth holes to finish off her round in front of a large contingent of South Korean fans.

Marina Alex was second. Thompson was one of seven players at 68 in partly sunny and unseasonable temperatures in the low 60s.

Getty Images

Horschel (68) builds on momentum at Valero

By Will GrayApril 20, 2018, 12:32 am

Billy Horschel only ever needs to see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

While some players require a slow ascent from missed cuts to contending on the weekend, Horschel's switches between the two can often be drastic. Last year he missed three straight cuts before defeating Jason Day in a playoff to win the AT&T Byron Nelson, a turnaround that Horschel said "still shocks me to this day."

The veteran is at it again, having missed five of six cuts prior to last week's RBC Heritage. But a few tweaks quickly produced results, as Horschel tied for fifth at Harbour Town. He wasted no time in building on that momentum with a bogey-free, 4-under 68 to open the Valero Texas Open that left him one shot behind Grayson Murray.

"I'm a big momentum player. I've got to get the train moving forward," Horschel told reporters Thursday. "I've always been a guy who gets on a little roll, get that train moving and jump into the winner's circle. So yeah, it would have been great to win last week, but it was just nice to play four really good rounds of golf."

Many big names tend to skip this week's stop at TPC San Antonio, but Horschel has managed to thrive on the difficult layout in recent years. He finished third in both 2013 and 2015, and tied for fourth in 2016.

With a return next week to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans where he notched his first career win in 2013 and a title defense in Dallas on the horizon, Horschel believes he's turning things around at just the right time.

"Gets the momentum going, carry it into this week, next week, which I've had a lot of success at," Horschel said. "Really the rest of the year, from here on in I have a lot of really good events I've played well in."

Getty Images

Three years later, PXG launches new iron

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 19, 2018, 11:22 pm

Three years is a long time between launches of club lines, but Bob Parsons, founder and CEO of PXG, says his company had a very good reason for waiting that long to introduce its second-generation irons.

“Three years ago, when we introduced our first generation 0311 iron, we made a commitment that we would not release a product unless it was significantly better than our existing product,” Parsons said. “:Our GEN2 irons are better than our GEN1 irons in every respect. We believe it’s the best iron ever made, and the second-best iron ever made is our GEN1 iron.”

PXG’s 0311 GEN2 irons, which officially went on sale today, feature what the company says is the world’s thinnest clubface. They have a forged 8620 soft carbon steel body and PXG’s signature weighting technology. The hollow clubheads are filled with a new polymer material that PXG says not only dampens vibration, but also produces higher ball speeds and thus more distance.

The irons come in four “collections” – Tour Performance, Players, Xtreme Forgiveness and Super Game Improvement.

Cost is $400 per iron, or $500 for PXG’s “Extreme Dark” finish. Price includes custom fitting. For more information, visit www.pxg.com.

Getty Images

Maggert and Parnevik lead at Bass Pro Shops

By Associated PressApril 19, 2018, 10:49 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik shot an 8-under 63 in better-ball play Thursday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' chilly Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

''It was very relaxing for me because I felt like terrible,'' Parnevik said. ''I was so stiff this morning. It was freezing cold. I thought if I can just try to make some pars in case he ever makes a bogey, but I didn't even have to do that.''

Playing together for the first time in the team event, Maggert and Parnevik eagled the par-5 eighth and had six birdies in the cool and breezy conditions on Big Cedar Lodge's Buffalo Ridge course.

''We play well together,'' Maggert said. ''We both contributed a lot. Jesper had a lot of birdies and an eagle on our final nine. It was so cold this morning, I just was going to come out and just try to hit fairways and greens. Really I wasn't thinking about making birdies, I was just trying to play steady and give myself an opportunity to have some birdie putts.''


Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


The next three rounds will be played on par-3 courses. Maggert and Parnevik will play the 18-hole Top of the Rock on Friday and Sunday, and the 13-hole Mountain Top on Saturday.

Mark Calcavecchia and Woody Austin were a stroke back. They also eagled No. 8. Austin won the 2016 title with Michael Allen. Calcavecchia won the Boca Raton Championship this year.

''I lucked in a few birdies on the back, but it was tough, tough conditions,'' Calcavecchia said. ''Even when it warmed up a little bit, it was still tough to make birdies out there. All in all, 7 under's a pretty good start.''

Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman were at 65 along with Davis Love III-Scott Verplank, 2015 winners Billy Andrade-Joe Durant, Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett and Steve Flesch-David Toms.

''We kind of brother-in-lawed or ham-and-egged it or partnered it,'' Love said. ''Neither one of us were playing great, but we had one guy in every hole and that's kind of what you have to do. We're going to have to go to the par 3 courses and get two birdie putts on a hole is what you really want to do and we didn't do that enough today.''

Flesch won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic last week for his first senior title.

Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly were tied for 22nd at 68.