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Home / Sports / Green, 22, is campaigning for her first LPGA Major

Green, 22, is campaigning for her first LPGA Major



CHASKA, Minn. – Hannah Green was never more nervous than standing over a 3-meter par-putt Sunday at Hazeltine National and winning her first major in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

Karrie Webb, too, who has won seven majors in her career in the Hall of Fame.

Webb watched from the outside as her heart raced. Ten years ago, Webb launched a scholarship program in Minnesota to bring young Australian amateurs to the majors to spend a week with them and experience the biggest golf events. Four years ago, Green was one of those scholars.

And now she is one of the biggest champions.

Green kept his nerve to the end and hit 8-iron to 15 feet for a deciding birdie on the 1

6th hole "I can not believe I'm in this position right now," he told Green, a 22-year-old Australian in her second year on the LPGA Tour. "I've always wanted to win an event and win a big championship because my first one is crazy."

She became the first wired winner of this major since Yani Tseng in 2011 and even more amazing is the one she held back to win the silver trophy. She started the finals with a shot at Ariya Jutanugarn, the tournament's strongest player and two-time main champion. Jutanugarn did not make a birdie on her 77th lap.

Then it was Park, another former No. 1 and two-time main winner, who made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 68 that left Green No margin for error.

When Webb watched it all, he was the only woman to win the Super Slam of five different LPGA majors. Last week, she was living in a house with Green, along with the two youngest scholars, Becky Kay and Grace Kim, who were under Australian flags in Hazeltine.

"I feel like I won a golf tournament today, I'm so excited for them," said Webb. "You did not do it yourself, but you supported someone who realized that dream."

They all requested the 18th Green to celebrate with Green and sprayed them with beer cans in a real Australian way. On the LPGA Tour, it has become a tradition for friends to sprinkle water bottles with winners, and Webb would not allow it.

"It was Budweiser," she said.

Green won the Symetra Tour three times in 2017 to earn an LPGA tour card, being the first Australian to win an LPGA Tour Major since Webb's 2006 Power Nabisco Championship last won.

"I'm speechless," said Green struggling to spread the words through such strong emotions. "I was really nervous when I played the last five holes."

She finished the race at 9-279 and won $ 577,500.

It was hard work, though Green on a cloudy day in Hazeltine never gave up the guide with some light raindrops at the end.

Green rolled in a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-5 seventh for a 3-shot lead. While the group in front of her was still waiting for the tee, a 7-year-old girl handed her a blue sheet of paper. It was a poem she wrote to Green, along with the words, "You can win that." Green, who gave Lily Kostner a golf ball at ANA this year, read the poem and hugged the girl. Then he drilled another tee into the birdie range.

"I had it on the back of my book because I did not want it to rain," said Green. "A few times on Back Nine, when I was nervous and had some time, I read it to myself."

The nerves did not really subside, especially after Green had built three bogeys in a four-hole track that brought them down to 8, a four-shot lead that suddenly hit dropped to one. [19659002] Mel Reid finished the game with a 66 and posted 6 under 282.

Nelly Korda lay down to a soft bogey on the 15th par behind it. Park fucked the hole to get down to 7, and Green could not afford mistakes. It looked like she'd wrapped it up when she made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th, the Signature Hole in Hazeltine, followed by a par on the 17th.

Park was not finished, though she hit her tee shot so hard on the 18th that she drove through the corner of the rough into the fairway and made a clean access to the back pin position and a final birdie.

Green answered this challenge with the Bunker Save and the Webb and the two fellows, as well as Stacey Peters of Golf Australia and Green's friend Jarryd Felton, who plays on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

"I always wanted to win in front of Australian audiences." Green said. "That's how it was today, I'm overjoyed."

Korda (71) and Reid came in third, while Lizette Salas (72) and Danielle Kang (70) were four shots behind. The surprise was Jutanugarn, who started the final lap with a shot behind on a track of almost 6,800 meters, perfect for her strength. She became tenth.

Green is the tenth player to win the last ten majors of the LPGA Tour, a sign of growing parity. She is also the third winner of the last five LPGA majors who have never won on the LPGA Tour.


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