PORTLAND, Ore. – Defending champion Brooke Henderson survived some tense moments on the back nine on the way to a four-stroke victory Sunday at the LPGA Cambia Portland Classic.
The second-ranked Henderson – a native of Smiths Falls, Ont., – shot a 14-under 274 after a final round 71 at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, pulling away from American Stacy Lewis, who was 10-under after a 69.
Henderson became the first back-to-back winner at Portland since Annika Sorenstam won consecutive tournaments in 2002 and 2003. The 18-year-old is the first wire-to-wire winner at Portland since the tournament went to a 72-hole event in 2013.
Henderson is the tour’s second wire-to-wire winner this year, joining Ha Na Jang, who won the Coates Championship in February.
It was Henderson’s third career win, all coming in the Northwest. Aside from her two Portland victories, Henderson won the Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee in Sammamish, Washington, three weeks ago.
Stacy Lewis is winless in 53 starts since taking the North Texas LPGA Shootout in June 2014 for her 11th tour victory. She has 11 runner-up finishes during the drought and 24 overall.
Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, the 2011 and 2013 Portland champion finished third at 9-under after a 72. Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe, tied for the lead with seven holes remaining, was 8-under after making double bogeys on her final two holes to shoot 75. Austin Ernst, who won Portland in 2014, was also 8-under after a 73.
Christina Kim posted the low score of the day with a 66 to finish 7-under, as did Lee-Anne Pace, Lee Lopez and Cheyenne Woods. Pace shot 68, while Woods had a 72 for her first career top 10. Lopez, an LPGA rookie, shot 73.
This Portland performance was much different than her runaway victory in 2015, when Henderson rolled to a tournament-record eight-stroke win with a 21-under 267.
Henderson was forced to grind the final two rounds, often having to save pars following wayward drives.
Sunday turned into a two-player race early on the back nine, when Uribe birdied the par-4, 337-yard 11th to tie Henderson for the lead at 14-under.
But Henderson quickly resumed control at the par-5, 546-yard 12th. Uribe hit a poor drive and made bogey, while Henderson dropped a three-foot birdie putt to take a two-shot lead.
The lead melted to one at 13, when Henderson’s tee shot at the 160-yard par-3 went into the bunker and she made bogey. Uribe fell two strokes back at the par-4, 372-yard 15th with a bogey.
The par-4, 397-yard 17th became the tournament’s decisive hole. Henderson and Uribe both drove into a bunker, then blasted their approach shots over the green. But Uribe hit her third shot 50 feet past the hole and made double bogey, while Henderson was able to get up and down to save par, making an eight-foot putt.
Lewis never got closer than three strokes, and might have put some pressure on Henderson but made bogeys at 16 and 18.
Sakura Yokomine (69), Vicky Hurst (71) and Carlota Cignada (73) were eight shots back at 6-under. In-Kyung Kim shot 69 to head a group of five at 5-under.