West Australian, Hannah Green, has today won her second LPGA Tour title with a tenacious final-round display at the Cambia Portland Classic in Portland in Oregon, coming from three behind the 54 hole leader, Yealimi Noh, to eventually wear down the inexperienced but impressive 18-year-old.
22 year-old Green, who lost a substantial five-shot lead herself during yesterday’s third round, was still three behind Noh as the pair headed to the 15th tee but Green would birdie the 15th and 17th to draw level and at the 18th she holed a seven-foot putt for par to edge out Noh who bogeyed the last to go down by a shot.
It was a performance full of persistence and patience by Green who adds this title to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship she won in June and takes her season’s earnings to US$979,000.
Green led through 18 and 36 holes before a faltering 73 on Saturday cost her the lead as the Monday qualifier and non-LPGA Tour member Noh took control of the tournament with a round of 64.
At stake for the Noh was the opportunity to join the LPGA Tour and that prospect may well have played a part in her two bogeys in the closing three holes.
It was, however, an outstanding effort by her to circumvent the need to attend LPGA Tour Q School in coming months but it was not to be.
Green has impressed in her now three years in professional golf having made it to the LPGA Tour via her three-victory rookie season on the Symetra Tour in 2017 followed by a solid LPGA rookie season in 2018.
She now has a major title to her name and this week’s win and appears on track to add a lot more LPGA Tour victories in the years ahead.
“It’s funny, I think yesterday I more nervous then I was today because I pretty much knew it was mine to lose, having a five-stroke lead,” said Green after her win.
“I was surprised with how different conditions were from Friday to Saturday, and I really struggled to adjust both with my approach shots in, and also putting.
“Today it felt a lot different, and I think I can definitely say that KPMG, having that experience, definitely helped me, especially the last five holes. Grinding out and making sure that I stayed patient.”
While Green was delighted to have won she was full of praise for her young opponent.
“I said to her, I don’t know if she actually heard me — I’m sure she was emotional. I said, “This is not the first time you’re going to be in this position.” I’m really impressed.
“This is my first time ever meeting and playing with her. To go out with her — she didn’t play that great towards the ends but still to have the result she had — I know she played well at Thornberry and she’ll be out here next year probably in the same position. Unfortunately I guess there’s always some failure to then have success, but I’m sure hers will come soon.”
Brittany Altomare continued her fine season with a third placing this week albeit three shots behind the runner-up Noh.
Su Oh was the next best of the Australians when she tied for 15th, a position she shared with new Zealand’s Lydia ko.
Robyn Choi was 63rd and Sarah Kemp 67th.
The LPGA Tour will now take a three-week break from regular tournament golf although the now enticing prospect of the Solheim Cup looms in 12 days-time at Gleneagles in Scotland.
Congratulations Hannah! pic.twitter.com/pok75JunkH
— LPGA (@LPGA) September 2, 2019