Australia's Green makes first win a
major at Women's PGA
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[June 24, 2019]
(Reuters) - Hannah Green became
the third Australian woman to win a major with a one-stroke victory
over South Korean Park Sung-hyun at the Women's PGA Championship in
Chaska, Minnesota on Sunday.
After a poor six-iron approach into a bunker at the final hole,
Green made a clutch up-and-down par, sinking a four-foot putt for
the win at Hazeltine National.
She carded an even-par 72 to complete a wire-to-wire triumph, only
the second player this century to lead alone after every round.
Green finished at nine-under 279, while last year's champion Park
(68) birdied the final hole for second place on 280.
"I was really nervous playing the last five holes," Green said, her
voice cracking with emotion.
"To be winning a major as my first event, I'm just over the moon."
The 22-year-old from Perth, Western Australia, came into the
championship ranked 114th in the world but now belongs in the same
major club as compatriots Karrie Webb (seven) and Jan Stephenson
Webb was the last Australian to claim a major at the 2006 Kraft
Nabisco Championship, since rebranded the ANA Inspiration.
Green is a former recipient of the Karrie Webb Scholarship, and
seven-times major winner Webb was among a half-dozen Australian
friends who mobbed the champion on the 18th green.
FRITTERED AWAY LEAD
Earlier, Green built a handy lead before all but frittering it away
with three bogeys in a four-hole stretch around the turn as nerves
appeared to take hold.
Her lead was trimmed to one stroke over American Nelly Korda, but
Green lifted under pressure.
[to top of second column]
Hannah Green celebrates with trophy after winning the KPMG Women's
PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club.
Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports
A 15-foot birdie at the 16th hole steadied Green but Park, playing
in the group ahead, was not done.
The Korean birdied the par-four 18th to put the heat on Green and
the Australian stumbled with a poor approach shot on the final hole.
Finding a good lie in the bunker, Green nipped the shot nicely but
the ball did not stop close enough to take the putt for granted.
After an almost unbearable four-minute wait while the other members
of her group putted out, Green rolled in the winning putt and the
tears quickly flowed.
Runnerup Park had earlier rued a missed birdie chance at the 17th
before making amends at the last.
"There were a lot of putts that didn't go in but I was really glad
to make that birdie putt on 18," Park said. "I would like to
Korda (71) and England's Mel Reid (66) tied for third, three shots
Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, who started the day one shot behind
Green, had a nightmare 77 to plunge into a tie for 10th on
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken
Ferris / Ian Ransom)
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