19 May 2024 | Professional golf |

Green's record round sets up epic LPGA showdown

by Tony Webeck

Hannah Green Mizuho Americas Open
Hannah Green compiled a tournament record 9-under 63 to set up a showdown with world No.1 Nelly Korda at the Mizuho Americas Open. Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

West Australian Hannah Green has booked a spot in the final group with the hottest player in women’s golf after a record round at the Mizuho Americas Open in New Jersey.

A two-time winner already this season, Green had nine birdies in her round of 9-under 63 at Liberty National Golf Club to better the 18-hole tournament record shared by fellow Aussie Minjee Lee, two-time Women’s Australian Open winner Ashleigh Buhai and Marina Alex.

It has earned the 27-year-old a date with world No.1 Nelly Korda who shot 65 in Round 3 to lead by two through 54 holes.

Another Australian, Gabriela Ruffels (68), is three off the lead in a tie for third but all eyes will be on the head-to-head battle between Green and Korda.

After tying the all-time mark of five consecutive wins, Korda was tied for seventh a week ago at the Cognizant Founders Cup.

Green is the only other multiple winner on the LPGA Tour this season and is riding high on stellar ball-striking and happiness both on and off the golf course.

“I think (GOLF Channel commentator) Grant Boone said something last week like I’m the next person in line behind Nelly Korda,” said Green, a round that elevated her from a tie for 31st into outright second.

“I was like, yes, because right now Nelly is very much out of reach of getting world No. 1.

“I still want to get into the top 5 in the world now that I got into the top 10. It’s definitely the change and a goal since I already ticked off the top 10.

“It’s nice to be able to be in form. We’ve got a really good stretch of events coming up and I hope I can be more in contention for the majors coming up.”

Green parred her first two holes of the day before grabbing a birdie on the par-4 third hole to move to 3-under, picking up a pair of back-to-back birdies on holes six and seven to get to 5-under overall.

The five-time LPGA Tour winner then put her head down and charged forward as she made the turn, putting on an absolute clinic on the back nine at Liberty National.

Green made another set of back-to-back birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th holes, now sitting at 7-under with seven holes to play.

She struck again with a birdie on the par-5 13th hole and then rattled off three consecutive birdies on holes 15, 16 and 17 before parring 18 to post 63.

“It did feel like autopilot for a little bit there, which is very nice. Now I put myself hopefully in contention for Sunday,” said Green.

“I feel like I’ve been able to glue things together. Last week, I couldn’t keep up with the girls on the greens is where I lost a lot of shots. Today, I hit it close enough to be able to hole putts, which was nice.

“I didn’t actually hole anything longer than 15 feet, so hitting it very well, so that was very nice.”

A career-high 59 on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings after her third-place finish at the Cognizant Founders Cup, Ruffels is again in position to claim a maiden LPGA Tour title.

The 24-year-old began her third round with four straight birdies, adding a fifth at the par-5 eighth to go out in 5-under.

There was a lone bogey at the par-5 13th along with eight pars on the back nine as she too seeks to chase down Korda.

“When you’re kind of just in the zone it kind of just feels easy and effortless, and that’s kind of what it felt like,” said Ruffels.

“I wanted that run to keep going, but ended up with 4-under. Overall pretty happy.”

Three Aussies are in a tie for 31st, Karis Davidson (71), Minjee Lee (71) and Sarah Kemp (72) all at 4-under through three rounds. Stephanie Kyriacou (71) is two shots further back in a tie for 43rd.

Join our newsletter

Get weekly updates on news, golf tips and access to partner promotions.

Related News

Golf Australia NEW LOGO White Mono_logo
Join our newsletter

Get weekly updates on news, golf tips and access to partner promotions!