SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) A year of major heartache ended with Jason Day breaking through in a major way Sunday at the PGA Championship.
With at least a share of the 54-hole lead for the third straight major, Day never gave Jordan Spieth or anyone else much of a chance at Whistling Straits. The 27-year Australian shot a 5-under 67 for a three-shot victory and broke Tiger Woods’ major record for strokes under par by finishing at 20 under.
In tears before tapping in for par, Day hugged his son and wife and then Spieth, who finished second and moved to No. 1 in the world – ending Rory McIlroy’s one-year reign.
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Day started the final round with a two-shot lead and no one got any closer than that the entire day. His lone shaky moment came at the end of the front nine, when he made his first bogey on No. 8 and then chunked a wedge from the fairway on No. 9. But he saved par with an 8-foot putt and was on his way.
And he knew it at the end.
With a three-shot lead on the par-5 16th, Day hit a high draw onto the green, bit his lower lip and swatted longtime coach and caddie Colin Swatton in the arm. That two-putt birdie took him to 20 under, and two pars sealed the victory.
Woods finished at 19 under when he won the 2000 British Open at St. Andrews.
Spieth was chasing history again – Woods and Ben Hogan are the only two players to win three majors in the same season – but the Masters and U.S. Open champion had a tougher time chasing Day.
The 22-year-old Texan set a record of his own. By closing with a 68, he set a record by playing the four majors in 54-under par, breaking by one the mark that Woods set in 2000. The difference is that Woods won two majors by a combined 23 shots.
CAMBIA PORTLAND CLASSIC
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Brooke Henderson won the Cambia Portland Classic by eight strokes to become the third-youngest champion in LPGA Tour history at 17 years, 11 months, 6 days.
The Canadian closed with a 3-under 69 at Columbia Edgewater to finish at 21-under 267, the lowest total since the event went from 54 holes to 72 in 2013.
Lydia Ko set the age record as an amateur in the 2012 Canadian Women’s Open at 15 years, 4 months, 2 days. She also won the Canadian event in 2013 at 16, and won four times at 17. Lexi Thompson won the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic at 16 years, 7 months, 8 days.
Henderson’s eight-stroke margin is the largest in the history of the event and the biggest on the LPGA Tour since Jiyah Shin won the 2012 Women’s British Open by nine shots.
Henderson also became the first Canadian winner since Lorie Kane in the 2001 Takefuji Classic and joined Laurel Kean as other only Monday qualifiers to win. Kean did it in the 2000 Rail Classic.
Henderson earned $195,000 and has made $661,818 in 10 events. Last year, LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan denied Henderson’s age petition, preventing her from playing Q-school. Because she’s assured of finishing among the top 40 in earnings this year, Henderson will earn a tour card for 2016.
Pornanong Phatlum (68), Ha Na Jang (70) and Candie Kung (70) tied for second.
U.S. WOMEN’S AMATEUR
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Hannah O’Sullivan won the U.S. Women’s Amateur, beating Sierra Brooks 3 and 2 in the 36-hole final at Portland Golf Club.
The 17-year-old O’Sullivan, from Chandler, Arizona, took the lead with a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-4 30th, added birdie wins on the par-4 32nd and par-5 33rd and ended the match with a two-putt par for a halve on the par-4 34th.
O’Sullivan won the Symetra Tour’s Gateway Classic in February at 16 to become the youngest winner in the history of the professional circuit. In May, she teamed with Robynn Ree to finish second in the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at Bandon Dunes.
The 17-year-old Brooks is from Sorrento, Florida.
PRICE CUTTER CHARITY CHAMPIONSHIP
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – South Africa’s Dawie van der Walt won the Price Cutter Charity Championship by two strokes for his second Web.com Tour victory of the season.
Van der Walt closed with an even-par 72 at Highland Springs to finish at 23-under 265. He earned $121,500 to jump from 16th to third on the money list with $286,827, more than enough to wrap up a PGA Tour card for next season.
Smylie Kaufman was second after a 70. Martin Piller, also a two-time winner this year, had a 71 to tie for third at 20 under with Dicky Pride (65) and Brad Elder (68).
W.B. MASON CHAMPIONSHIP
BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) – Vicky Hurst won the W.B. Mason Championship for her fifth career Symetra Tour title and first since 2008.
Hurt closed with a 3-under 68 at Thorny Lea Golf Club to finish at 13-under 200, three shots ahead of Brittany Benvenuto and Mexico’s Alejandra Llaneza.
The 25-year-old Hurst, from Melbourne, Florida, earned $16,500 to jump from 25th to 14th on the money list with $37,409. The final top 10 will earn 2016 LPGA Tour cards.
Llaneza finished with a 67, and Benvenuto shot 68.