This past Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins won their fourth Stanley Cup championship, beating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in San Jose. The NHL playoffs are always a pretty big deal in Canada (we sure do love our hockey here!), but a little earlier that day, a young Canadian athlete was achieving something well worthy of stealing Sidney Crosby's thunder. Her name is Brooke Henderson. At 18 years old, she is already one of the world's best golfers. And if you didn't know about her before, that is all going to change starting now.
That's because Henderson, from Smiths Falls, Ontario, just won her first major golf tournament, the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at the Salahee Country Club in Washington State. There are five majors in women's golf, and as you might guess, these are the biggest and most challenging events to win in the sport. Henderson is the first Canadian woman to win a major since Sandra Post in 1968. That was almost 50 years ago.
Already the 2015 Canadian Female Athlete of the Year
Even though she is still only 18 (18 years and 9 months to be exact), there are some people out there who will say that they saw this coming. Henderson was selected as the Canadian Female Athlete of the Year for 2015 by the Canadian Press. Last August she won the Cambia Portland Classic and she ended the year ranked in the Top 20... all in her rookie season (in case you're wondering, yes, that's pretty extraordinary!). "It was just a miracle year really," she said of her 2015.
When 2016 began, Henderson made one of her goals getting into the Top 10 in the world rankings. That's quite ambitious, and yet by mid-June, Henderson is already ranked number TWO. Talk about meeting your goals!
Her big victory Sunday came in what is called a playoff round. This is when there are two (or more) golfers whose scores are tied after four days of golf. The tied players then need to play another hole to determine the winner. The other golfer in her playoff round was Lydia Ko from New Zealand. She is ranked number one in the world and had just won two majors in a row. So not only did Henderson win the playoff, she did it against the planet's very best.
The sky is the limit
With so much achieved so soon, many are predicting that Henderson will be a player to watch for many years to come. Ko herself is very young, too, and experts think that the two players could grow a strong rivalry against one another. That will be exciting for all golf fans, but especially for Canadians, who aren't used to having one of the top golfers in the world. While Henderson is trying to take this victory in, it's clear that she doesn't think this is the best that she can do.
"Looking forward to the rest of the summer," she said after the win. "There's still three major championships left. I'd like to get my name on all three of those. But I won't get ahead of myself here."
Winning all three would really be something, but you can bet that she'll be a big factor in golf all summer long! For now, watch the highlights of her big win below. It's pretty exciting stuff!
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