ANA Inspiration- Winner: Lydia Ko
Throughout her career, Lydia Ko has got world golf fans used to her super game and skills. She has also amazed many with the way she carries herself on the course and the unnumbered world records she has broken. This season she managed to break another record and became the youngest two-time major winner in LPGA after winning the ANA Inspiration. Lydia took the trophy home after draining a birdie on the 72nd hole to finish at 12-under par, one shot ahead of Charley Hull and In Gee Chun. Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn had a close call to win for the first time on Tour as she had a two shot lead on the back-nine stretch but bogeyed her final three holes to finish fourth at 10-under par.
Lydia’s back nine included crucial par putts on the 11th and 13th holes, as well as par putts on the 16th and 17th holes to keep her chances alive. It all came down to the 18th, a par 5 where she thought about reaching the green in two but chose to lay up and left herself with an easy look at birdie.
The win meant Ko’s 12th career title and the second during the season, as she had won a week before at the Kia Classic. A victory at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course is never settled without the traditional leap into Poppie’s Pond. Lydia made the jump next to her caddie, Jason Hamilton, and family members.
KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: Winner Brooke M. Henderson
The 19-year old Canadian, Brooke M. Henderson, can now call herself a major champion. Henderson defeated world No.1, Lydia Ko, on the first playoff hole to take the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Sammamish, Washington. Brooke played her way into the playoff after a superb final round of six-under par, 65. Her round matched Lydia’s for the low round of the week. The Canadian signed a clean bogey-free card on Sunday afternoon and then made her way back to the 18th tee to face Lydia.
Ko was in the hunt of her third consecutive major win, but Henderson said otherwise. On the first playoff hole both players found the fairway, Lydia then left her approach 20 feet away, Brooke responded by leaving her approach three feet from the hole with an easy look at birdie and the win.
The win at Sahalee Country Club meant Brooke’s first major title, as well as her first victory as an official LPGA member. With her triumph Henderson became not only the youngest winner of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship but also the second youngest to win an LPGA major, just behind Ko.
U.S. Women’s Open- Winner: Brittany Lang
The U.S. Women’s Open was probably the most dramatic and discussed major of the year on the women’s side, this because of how things unfolded during the decisive playoff. Lydia Ko collapsed on the final round, so Anna Nordqvist and Brittany Lang were able to take advantage of it. The Swede, who started the day six shots behind the lead, had the Sunday charge. Nordqvist made her way into the playoff after a bogey-free round that included an eagle on the 15th hole. Lang, on the other hand, had a steady round of 1-under par, which was good enough to make it into the tiebreaker holes.
It was after the 17th hole when the controversy surrounding the USGA in major championships this year appeared once again. Television coverage showed Nordqvist grounding the heel of her club in the fairway bunker, rules officials worked as fast as they could to deliberate a decision on the action but in the mean time both players teed-off on the last whole without known the two-stroke penalty that would be assessed to the Swede. Players were notified of the ruling while hitting their approaches to the 18th green at CordeValle. Nordqvist had already hit her third shot into the green and Lang was just about to hit her third when USGA officials stopped play to inform them, this leading to harsh critics on the timing of the announcement.
Brittany Lang parred the three-playoff holes and went on to take the title after the penalty given to Nordqvist. With her win Lang ended a long victory drought and became a first-time major champion.
Ricoh Women’s British Open- Winner: Ariya Jutanugarn
The season thus far for Ariya Jutanugarn could already been described as outstanding after her three consecutive wins but the Thai player still had more to offer. The Woburn Golf Club in England witnessed the making of history after Ariya took the 2016 Ricoh Women’s British Open title and became the first Thai player, male or female, to win one of golf’s major championships.
Ariya teed off on Sunday morning with a two-shot lead, just ahead Mirim Lee and Mo Martin. Jutanugarn had a great start with birdies at the 2nd and 6th and extended her lead to five-strokes during the round. She then stumbled with a bogey at the ninth, followed by a double bogey at the 13th, which shorten her lead to only one stroke. “May“, as her friends on tour know her, birdied the 17th hole and played the final hole with a two-shot lead.
Jutanugarn had a rough rookie season in 2015, where she missed ten consecutive cuts. She also had a couple of close calls for a title at the beginning of the 2016 but lost them during the final stretch of the Sunday rounds. Now the game conditions look different for Ariya, who thanks to the help of her coaches has managed to see golf in a different way. “May” delivered and Thailand now has a major champion.
Evian Championship- Winner: In Gee Chun
The Evian Championship now has a new tournament scoring record and a new champion. In Gee Chun, the young South Korean who surprised us all at the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open, can now call herself a two-time major champion. Chun posted a final-round two-under 69 after displaying her flawless golf once more, and set the record for lowest score in relation to par not only in a women’s major but also in a men’s major.
The scenic Evian Resort and its French gallery witnessed Chun’s dominance over the rest of the field after completing a wire-to-wire win. Her countrywomen Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu finished runner-ups four shots behind at 17-under par.
At the beginning of the season In Gee had to battle with a lower-back injury, which caused her to miss three tournaments. The Korean media extensively covered the incident of her injury due to the involvement of Ha Na Jang’s father. Despite the injury Chun regained ground on the rankings and was able to finished within the top in ten different events. With her title in France In Gee also clinched the Rolex Rookie of the Year award.