Date: July 03, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Kang fulfils promise in major style

Danielle Kang joined an exclusive club of players to win their first LPGA Tour title at a major championship today, saluting in the Women's PGA Championship in Illinois.

The American was superb at Olympia Fields, fighting off hard-charging Brooke Henderson to win by a stroke at 13 under.

Defending champion Henderson, of Canada, closed with a stunning 66, but her birdie up the last was matched by Kang (68), whose own grand round looked to be under threat with a shaky three-putt bogey on the 10th.

But a run of four straight birdies from the 11th set up the winning buffer which Kang, 24, maintained despite a bogey on the 17th.

"The three-putt on No.10 was the turning point for me," the two-time US Amateur champion said.

"I said I’m going to learn from that and then I made four birdies in a row."

Equally as important were a 7m par saver on the 16th and then a stunning 3-wood to reach the final green in two right on the heels of Henderson's hot finale.

Needing a birdie to win, Kang blazed her approach from 212m to within 6m of the hole. She nestled her first putt up to about 30cm before knocking it in for the highlight of her career.

"Having a major championship in my resume, I don’t know what it will do," she said.

"But I do know that having the US Amateur as majors, and having a major win, it’s amazing."

Queenslander Sarah Jane Smith continued her rise through the ranks with a closing 71 finish at four under and share 14th, her best finish at a major championship.

West Australian Minjee Lee enjoyed her best round of the week, closing with a 69 to finish even par and in a share of 36th.

Victorian Su Oh finished one shot further back in T46 after a 72, while Queenslander Katherine Kirk shared 59th after a closing 75 left her five over.

Kang came to fame in 2007 when she played the US Women's Open as a 14-year-old.

This was her 31st major championship, but her first top 10. She's also played in nearly 200 events as a pro on the LPGA Tour before grabbing this elusive first win.