Danielle Kang held her nerve to birdie the 18th hole at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship on Sunday to claim her first LPGA Tour title and first major, edging defending champion Brooke Henderson by a single stroke.
It was a perfect way for the former US amateur champion to claim her first LPGA win. The 24-year-old’s previous best result in a major was tied for 14th in the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open.
Just a hole earlier it looked Kang had thrown away her chance of victory at Olympia Fields, after she bogeyed the par-three 17th while Henderson recorded two birdies to move into a tie for the lead.
The defending champion narrowly missed a 30-foot putt for eagle that would have put her in front.
Kang, though, withstood the pressure on the par-5 18th, hitting two great shots to reach the centre of the green, from where she two-putted for victory.
The 24-year-old ended with a four-under par round of 68 to finish at 13-under and claim the winner’s cheque of $525,000
— LPGA (@LPGA) July 2, 2017
Henderson, shot a 66 to finish second. A great defence of her title just a year after the 19-year-old beat then world number one Lydia Ko in a playoff at Sahalee.
Kang’s overnight co-leader Chella Choi could only manage a 71 to finish third at 10 under.
Three South Koreans Mi Hyang Lee, Amy Yang and Sei Young Kim lay a shot further back tied for fourth at nine-under par, while three-time winner Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson of the US tied for seventh place at seven under.