Hannah Green – file photo Bruce Young
By her own now high standards, 2020 has to date been a quiet year for West Australian, Hannah Green, but it might be that the final event of the year provides not only her first top ten in 14 starts this season but something considerably better.
Green finds herself just two shots from the 36-hole leader, Jin Young Ko, at the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples in Florida and in outright 4th place.
Green added a second round of 68 to her opening 69 and it may just be that her pending trip home to Australia and necessary quarantine when she gets there might be made more enjoyable if accompanied by a third LPGA Tour trophy.
“I’m leaving on Tuesday,” said Green. “I’ve got about a 40, 45-hour journey to get back to Perth, and then as soon as I got there I’m in a hotel for two weeks and not by choice.
“Once I leave the airport I get shuttled to a hotel and pretty much have to do 13 nights, 14 days, and then I can go out and be back at home and live a normal life.
“So I’ve heard a lot of stories. Some people have really struggled and some people don’t mind it. I think because it’s at the end of the year after a short but long year, that I’ll mainly be doing a lot of sleep and Netflix.
“So hopefully the food is good and my parents can bring me some things to entertain myself.”
“I feel like I’m hitting a lot of fairways and greens, which is really important here. Also when miss-hitting it, it’s very easy to miss greens here, so making sure you don’t short-side yourself and leave yourself in the best possible place to make up and downs.
“I think I’ve done a great job with that. Over the last couple weeks it’s been a struggle dealing with the cold. I’m not used to those temperatures, so it’s nice to come here and be able to just wear one layer and feel where your swing is.
“I’m really excited. Only two more rounds left for the season. Sounds really crazy, but I’m super excited.”
Green trails the world number one, Jin Young Ko, with Sei Young Kim and Lexi Thompson tied for second so the task ahead is tough one, but she is nicely placed heading into the weekend.
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko put together the best round of the day (65) to recover from her slow start to the event and has moved within four of the lead. Ko is tied for 11th. Ko talked after her round of the things she is addressing with her game along with recently appointed coach, Sean Foley.
“I think when I’m out there I’m really thinking about the technical standpoint. I think sometimes to be honest the thing that gets in my way is myself, of me feeling like, Okay, is this going to go straight, left, right, you know, all those weird thoughts that go through your head.
“That’s why Sean has been helpful in that kind of standpoint as well, trying to build me confidence. He sends me some songs randomly throughout the week and he gets me to listen to them as well.
“I think obviously the more I see it doing what I think it should be doing, the confidence kind of builds and the negative, I guess experiences, before are kind of slowly going away.”
“I think it’s like a building process, but I’m definitely out there not thinking too much about the technical thing. I think it’s more about being out there just believing in had myself and hitting it as confidently as I could.”
Katherine Kirk is the next best of the Australians in 13th place and five from the lead and suggested later that, despite playing well of late, she arrived in Naples with little expectation after a tough week at last week’s US Women’s Open.
“Last week kind of beat me up, so I didn’t expect much coming in this week, to be honest,” said the Queenslander.
“I knew I was hitting it okay, but perhaps not as well as other weeks during the last few months. I would say the confidence was okay but it certainly wasn’t at its high.
“But I’m thankful this week my putting is cooperating a little bit more than last week, so I’m happy about that.”
Minjee Lee is another shot behind Kirk, with Sarah Kemp at 1 over and ten from the lead.