Sports

Hannah Green has big early lead at Women's PGA at Hazeltine

Hannah Green has big early lead at Women's PGA at Hazeltine

A nervy Hannah Green may not have had her best stuff on Saturday but the 22-year-old Aussie still managed to cling to a one-shot lead at the Women's PGA Championship.

For the second day in succession she had holed a shot from the fairway although while she is getting breaks on the golf course she is clearly playing very well on such a demanding golf course.

World No. 1 Jin Young Ko of South Korea, already a two-time victor this year, including the season's first major, shot 67 and stands tied for 16th at even par. She had another 70. "I thought it was going to come much later in the day after nine holes. I hope that continues".

Defending champion Park Sung-hyun, who shot a second straight 71, and Kim Sei-young, who fired a 67, were in fifth at four-under.

Her bogey was on the par-5 11th hole. "I made all of them".

"Made bogey" she said with a laugh after her 70. Hazeltine played at 6,831 yards - just 244 yards shorter than the card at Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open last week - and it felt even longer when dark clouds on the horizon brought strong wind, cool temperatures and a steady rain that soaked the course.

Two-time major victor Ariya Jutanugarn had two birdies and an eagle to close in on Green's lead but finished with a second successive 70 to move to four under overall. "Going to go back and figure out what's next". "I had to land it perfectly and I guess I did".

A week of major championship pressure at the US Open and a cross-country trip made for a lot of exhausted players at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn. Greens made soft by rain on a relatively easy course helped perk up many of them Thursday. "As soon as it landed on the green I knew there was a chance of it going in". I just heard the crowd roar. "I'm just trying to make birdies and avoid bogeys".

"To have someone text you and say congratulations is pretty cool", Green said.

Patience was the key for Jutanugarn, who started going low on the front nine after a birdie at No. 1, an eagle at No. 7 and another birdie on the No. 9. "You want to hit it as hard and far as she does". With the pin tucked behind the next bunker, she went from sand to sand, blasted out to 12 feet and missed the par putt.

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"It's tough", she said before walking away.

Green was stateside as a scholarship victor in the 2015 Karrie Webb Series, a program started by the LPGA and World Golf Hall of Famer in 2007 to help mentor Australian women amateurs. "That's my first one all week", Green said.

Green swam, played tennis and golf as a teen before devoting her time to golf when she was 15.

Wie sat out a month and returned at the LPGA's first major and then her hometown event in Hawaii, both times missing the cut.

"I didn't own a pair of rain trousers". She won the U.S. Open in Minnesota at Interlachen Country Club. She even put together a 2,000-piece puzzle with her housemates.

As for Wie, she was headed to Florida to find answers, unsure when she would play next.

"I'm not entirely sure how much left I have in me", Wie said as she began to cry.

At seven-under 137, Green set a cracking pace in the major championship, her morning score holding up for the rest of the day. They are American Angel Yin of Monterey Park, CA, Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn, Spain's Carlota Ciganda, New Zealand's Lydia Ko, and three more South Koreans-Chella Choi, So Yeon Ryu and Mirim Lee.

Danielle Kang hits off the 12th tee during the second round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship golf tournament, Friday, June 21, 2019, in Chaska, Minn. She had such a successful amateur career in Australia that she was awarded the Karrie Webb Scholarship in 2015, and one of the perks was coming to the U.S. Women's Open at Lancaster.


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