Poor weather forced the McKayson New Zealand Women's Open to wait an extra day to find a champion, but determined fans and organisers got the one they deserved.

Brooke Henderson defied the elements to triumph by five strokes, signing off with a pin-high approach to help earn a birdie on the par-5 final hole.

The 20-year-old Canadian finished on 17-under-par for the tournament, five shots clear of nearest rival Jing Yan of China.

She oozed professionalism from her opening round of 65, and was a contender throughout with subsequent rounds of 70, 67 and 69 for a 271 aggregate. Henderson was an appropriate victor as the first professional to sign up after local Lydia Ko.

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Westerly squalls buffeted the course across the day. Any pictures of fine weather will be betrayed by grasses, trees and shrubs limboing eastwards in the background.

Yet Henderson never looked rattled, despite the brutal examination of each golfer's links-playing abilities in the final round.

She showed all the qualities which saw her become the youngest winner of the Women's PGA Championship last year and second-youngest major winner behind Lydia Ko.

On course Henderson adopts an inscrutable countenance which brings to mind Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry.

No punk would feel lucky as a target when she shoots for the green.

Henderson's older sister Brittany is her caddy, and the duo channel a telepathic bond roaming the fairways. That was a vital component to securing victory on a weather-ravaged Windross Farm.

"It was really crazy," Henderson said. "The weather has been unbelievable with high winds and rain. Brit and I did an awesome job of adapting and playing it.

"Normally a golf course like this doesn't suit my game, but this gives me confidence going forward to the British Open and playing on other links courses in general, especially in terrible conditions like we had the last few days.

"The last two days are the worst [conditions] I've played in. It's been long and mentally draining."

Henderson singled out a tee shot on the par-3 17th as her best of the day, thanks to Brittany's advice.

"I really depended on her to tell me which way the wind was going and where I should aim. She came through under pressure.

"On 17 I hit it to within 20-feet of the pin on possibly the hardest hole on the course.

"It was only 150 yards and I hit a seven-wood, which I normally hit 195 [yards] and it was pin high. It was a crazy wind and I feel like that shot could have gone badly. Fortunately I hit the green in regulation and putted for par."

Henderson is a delight to interview, offering considered insights into her game with a maturity that belies her years.

Take her birdie on the par-4 15th in the third round. She drove the green but the ball rolled into the left-hand rough. Henderson controlled her chip on the down slope and putted the consequences, despite the pin staring her down.

"It was difficult. I had a great tee shot which went a bit far into fescue-type grass. It was sitting in a hole and needed to go down into a valley and back up to the green.‚Äč

"I tried to come down steep on it and have a little runner. I thought it might run past but it rolled past to six inches, maybe a foot."

Such circumstances were a recurring theme in her first victory outside North America and fifth on the LPGA tour.

Henderson's composure earned her a winner's cheque of US$195,000. She's off to celebrate in Queenstown.