11 Sep 2020 | Professional golf |
Green contends at women's major
by Martin Blake
Hannah Green has put herself in the mix at the second major of the women’s season, the ANA Inspiration at a sizzling Rancho Mirage resort in California today.
Green shot a three-under par 69 to sit just inside the top 10, three shots from the lead through round one, taking advantage of an early tee time on a day when the temperature reached 36 degrees.
The Perth star had four birdies and a solitary bogey at the par-five ninth hole in her round. She sits nicely behind American world No. 3 Nelly Korda (66) along with South Korea's In Gee Chun and Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom at 67. Four players – Canada’s Brooke Henderson, Americans Kelly Tan and Danielle Kang, Dane Nanna Koerstz Madsen and China’s Yu Liu who all posted 68s.
Of the other Australians Minjee Lee (71) and amateur Gabi Ruffels (71) began well, with Ruffels leaving a six-metre birdie attempt at the last on the lip, while Su Oh and Katherine Kirk both battled the afternoon heat and shot even-par rounds.
Green found the course vastly different from its usual April shape, in particular the deep Bermuda grass. “I did pretty well to avoid the rough, but there was a couple situations where I could barely even see the golf ball, almost stepped on it, so it's different,” she said. “But I mean, those who hit really good shots are going to be rewarded, and I guess everyone has the same game plan, to hit as many fairways and greens as possible and hopefully make a few putts here and there.”
The heat, which is forecast to top 40 degrees over the weekend, did not bother her too much. “I guess I'm kind of used to this type of heat,” she said. “Where I live can typically get around this temperature, so this morning has been actually not too bad, but I figure this afternoon will get warm and I think during the rest of the tournament it will get warm again. Yeah, just going to chill out, watch some Netflix, not really do a whole lot, and then tomorrow morning just try and sleep in and have a good, I guess, warmup to my tournament round.”
Green, 23, is just a couple of weeks away from defending the major championship she won last year, the Women’s PGA Championship. It was one of two wins in 2019 on the LPGA Tour.
“I definitely had to reset my goals after I had two wins last year, but I don't want to put too much pressure on myself, either,’’ she said. “I feel like I could probably get in my own head a little bit. I'm not too bad when it comes to other pressure, but I'm pretty tough on myself I would say. It definitely gives you some confidence having some experience in some high-pressure type of situations, so yeah, hopefully I can bank on that if that happens on Sunday.”
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