Henderson romps to wire-to-wire win as Maguire grabs top-10 in Florida

Ronan MacNamara
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Brooke Henderson at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Leona Maguire salvaged a ninth place finish as Brooke Henderson eased to a wire-to-wire victory in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in Florida.

Maguire carded a three-under 69 for a six-under total and finished ten shots adrift of Henderson who was rarely threatened at the top of the leaderboard.

It was another battling round from Henderson who shot a two-under 70 for a -16 total but was never really pressured by her closest challengers at the start of the day, Nelly Korda and Nasa Hataoka, who shot rounds of 72 and 74 respectively.

The Canadian world number seven was dominant throughout the week and was a thoroughly deserving winner although she hopes this is only the start of a trophy laden year.

“It is so exciting,” Henderson said. “I always try to win a couple times each year, so to get one right way out of the gate takes a little bit of pressure off. … It’s exciting to be in contention, and even more exciting to hoist trophies.”

After 36 holes of low scoring, the two time major winner showed the other side to her game as she limited the mistakes and battled her way to victory.

In the end, she finished four ahead of Maja Stark and Charley Hull, the latter of whom eagled the ninth to close within three at the turn but she was unfazed and powered home in the tricky conditions.

Henderson was swooped up by Taylormade in the off season as was Korda and the 25-year-old has been delighted to see the switch pay dividends so early in the season.

“Honestly, I think all parts of the game were working really well this week, which that doesn’t always happen, so it was really nice to benefit from that and be able to hoist this trophy.

“Off the tee today maybe the drive wasn’t as good as the rest of the week, but it was still very consistent. Ball striking I gave myself a lot of good birdie looks, and especially the first three days made a lot of putts.

“Yeah, really can’t complain about anything. I’m really happy I made the switch to TaylorMade, and hopefully the success just continues.”

Henderson battled a back injury towards the end of last season but now she is fully healthy she has set her sights on getting back to her best and ascending to world number one.

“That would be awesome. Definitely the dreams start. I think every year I try to get a little bit better, and hopefully this year I can just continue to make progress and steps, and at the end the year if I’m in contention for some of those things, I’ll be really happy.”

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