Brilliant Green defends LPGA Tour title in LA

Darren Walton |

Aussie Hannah Green is an LPGA Tour winner once again after storming home in Los Angeles.
Aussie Hannah Green is an LPGA Tour winner once again after storming home in Los Angeles.

Hannah Green craves an elusive second career major after romping to a third LPGA Tour victory inside 12 months.

Green continued her love affair with Wilshire Golf Club to successfully defend her LA Championship crown with one of the most commanding displays of the year.

Australia’s 2019 Women’s US PGA champion produced a brilliant back-nine blitz to close with a five-under-par 66 and blow away the field in the shadows of Los Angeles’ iconic Hollywood hills backdrop.

With a five-under stretch in five holes, Green finished with a 12-under 272 total, three strokes clear of in-form Swede Maja Stark (68).

The West Australian stretched her streak to 16 consecutive sub-par rounds at the course to slam the door shut on her chasers. 

“It’s really kind to me. I love it here,” she said.

In adding to her HSBC Women’s World Champions success in Singapore last month, Green joins rampant world No.1 Nelly Korda as only the second player to notch multiple LPGA Tour victories in 2024.

“To obviously already win in Singapore and then win here this week, I hope that I can get closer to my goal being in the top 10 in the world and solidify my spot in the Olympics,” the Perth prodigy said.

Green will climb from world No.18 to the cusp of the top 10, as well as soar to third in the season-long points standings behind five-time winner Korda and New Zealand’s Lydia Ko.

The 27-year-old also joins greats Karrie Webb (41), Jan Stephenson (16) Minjee Lee (10) and Rachel Hetherington (eight) as only the fifth Australian to win at least five times on the LPGA Tour.

But a second major is what Green truly yearns for, five years after shocking herself with a first.

“That’s kind of the one that I want the most,” she said.

“I feel like obviously KPMG (the 2019 US PGA) was a bit of a whirlwind of a week.  No one expected me to win and I certainly didn’t either.

“Even though I’ve had three wins in the last 12 months, still didn’t play the weekend last week in Houston.

“(But) I feel like when my game is going good, it’s good. I’ve still got to tweak some things when I’m not playing so well, but definitely gives me some confidence.”

After starting the day sharing the lead with compatriot Grace Kim, Green quickly established a two-shot advantage on the very first hole.

Green’s birdie and Kim’s bogey left Green with the outright lead, and she retained it all afternoon despite a strong challenge coming from Stark.

Hannah Green.
Hannah Green drains a birdie putt to start her final round in Los Angeles. (AP PHOTO)

Runner-up to Korda at last week’s Chevron Championship, the year’s first major, Stark was just one shot back after making birdies on the seventh and 13th holes as Green toiled mid-round with seven straight pars.

But a chip-in birdie on the par-3 12th broke the shackles for Green, who picked up another shot on 13 to nudge two strokes clear.

Stark received a huge break on the 15th when her bunker shot clattered into the pin and stopped dead for an easy birdie when a bogey looked more likely.

Green, though, more than held her nerve – she hit the go button with a spectacular eagle three on 15, followed by a fourth birdie of the day on 16.

In collecting a cheque for $US562,500 ($A858,700), the West Australian crashed through the $US5 million ($A7.6 million) career prize money earnings.

While Green rejoiced, Kim’s horror weekend continued with a demoralising six-over 77 to slump to a share of 25th.

The 23-year-old had been four shots clear at the halfway point and on track to capture a second LPGA Tour title.

Instead Kim was reduced to a putting wreck, unable to fashion a single birdie all weekend and racking up nine bogeys and a double.

Despite her disappointment, classy Kim was the first to shower her triumphant playing partner with champagne on the 18th green.


41: Karrie Webb

16: Jan Stephenson

10: Minjee Lee

8: Rachel Hetherington

5: Hannah Green