LPGA

Brooke Henderson wins LA Open for 10th LPGA Tour title

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 24: Brooke Henderson of Canada poses in front of the Hollywood sign holding the championship trophy after winning the HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open at Wilshire Country Club on April 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – Brooke Henderson rallied to win the HUGEL Air Premia LA Open on Saturday for her 10th LPGA Tour title, chipping in for birdie on the par-3 12th in an early back-nine burst and getting up-and-down for par on the last.

Four strokes behind leader Jessica Korda and three back of top-ranked Jin Young Ko entering the sunny day at Wilshire Country Club, Henderson closed with her second straight 4-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over Korda.

The 23-year-old Canadian birdied the par-4 11th to take the lead at 15 under, hitting a 144-yard shot to 3 feet of the back, right pin. She holed out from 70 feet from right and below the green on 12, and made a 6-foot birdie putt on the short par-4 14th.

Henderson bogeyed the par-4 17th to cut her lead to two, then chipped inside 2 feet for par on the par-3 18th after her 8-iron shot rolled off the right edge of the green and into a low collection area.

The sixth-ranked Henderson won for the first time since the Meijer LPGA Classic in June 2019. She finished at 16-under 268 to break the event record of 14 under set by Minjee Lee in 2019.

“Just to get it across the line and to have the work that Brit and I have been putting in pay off and be able to celebrate together and get the tenth win on the LPGA Tour is really incredible, and I just — just really happy and just really excited,” said Henderson.

Korda closed with a 72, missing a chance for her second victory of the year after leading after each of the first three rounds. She won the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January for her sixth LPGA Tour title.

“You know, this game is incredible and it gives you so many great opportunities. The friends that I’ve made and the places that I’ve been able to travel are really crazy,” said Henderson, when asked about being a role model.

“I’m really grateful that my parents got me into the game and that my sister and I have been able to share this journey together.”

While Henderson made her move early on the back nine, Ko bogeyed the 11th and 12th in a 72 that left her tied with Australia’s Hannah Green at 14 under. The South Korean star was coming off a two-week break after finishing seventh in the ANA Inspiration.

Green eagled the 14th and birdied the par-5 15th in a 66.

Major champions So Yeon Ryu (68) and Angela Stanford (70) tied for fifth at 12 under.

LPGA USGA

The United States Golf Association names Mike Whan its new Chief Executive

Mike Whan
NAPLES, FL - NOVEMBER 15: LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan presents the Commissioner's Award during the LPGA Rolex Players Awards at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort on November 15, 2018 in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Feb. 17, 2021) – The USGA announced today that Mike Whan will join the organization this summer as CEO, and will become the eighth top executive in USGA history.

Last month, Whan announced his intention to step down as LPGA Commissioner in 2021, after his organization completes a search for the next Commissioner. His transition follows an impressive 11 years at the helm of the LPGA, during which the organization experienced historic growth in virtually every aspect of the business.

As USGA CEO, Whan will be responsible for leading all aspects of the association’s operations, including its core functions, essential programs, and human and financial resources. He will also represent the USGA on a variety of national and international boards.

“Mike Whan is a proven, successful and transformative leader, not only in the golf industry but throughout his entire career,” said USGA President Stu Francis, who oversaw the CEO search process. “He has shown a unique ability to understand how the environment is changing in global golf and how to quickly and thoughtfully adapt an organization to meet those changes. Importantly, Mike is already a trusted peer for so many key stakeholders in the industry, and his existing relationships will not only help the USGA, but will also help advance the game.”

Whan started his career at the Procter & Gamble Company in 1987, where he rose to Director of Marketing for Oral Care before leaving to pursue a passion for sports. Whan’s sports business career began at Wilson Sporting Goods as a Vice President and General Manager in the golf division. He joined the TaylorMade Golf Company as Vice President of Marketing in 1995 and later served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Executive Vice President/General Manager for Taylormade-adidas Golf. In 2002, Whan became the President and CEO of Mission Hockey, a hockey equipment company.

Since joining the Ladies Professional Golf Association in 2010, Whan increased the number of tournaments on the LPGA Tour’s schedule to 34 from 24, increased purses from $41.4 million to $76.5 million, and grew television hours from 125 hours per season, to over 500 hours. Under his leadership, the LPGA became a truly global business – with players, tournaments, sponsors and fans coming from all over the world. Currently, the LPGA Tour is televised in over 170 countries each week. Whan’s leadership resulted in the expansion of the LPGA to now include both the Symetra Tour, the recently announced joint venture with the Ladies European Tour, as well as a nearly 50% increase in LPGA’s teaching division. Whan’s focus on growing the game for junior girls has led to a significant expansion of the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program, which had 5,000 members when he joined the organization to 90,000 girls now engaged in the program.

Laurence Applebaum and LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan

Laurence Applebaum and Mike Whan at 2019 CP Women’s Open

“As someone who grew up loving this game, I have always had huge respect for the USGA and its role in leading our sport,” said Whan. “The game has given me so much throughout my life, both personally and professionally. I know I have a lot to learn, but I’m truly excited about this role, as it gives me the opportunity to not only give back to the game, but to also work hard to leave it stronger.”

Current USGA CEO Mike Davis, who joined the USGA in 1990 and became the Association’s seventh executive director in 2011 and first CEO in 2016, will depart later this year to team with Tom Fazio II in a new course design venture, Fazio & Davis Golf Design.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mike Whan for many years and I view him as a trusted, strategic leader who has a proven track record of building collaborative partnerships,” said Davis. “I know the USGA will be in great hands, and I look forward to partnering with Mike to ensure a smooth and successful transition for the USGA.”