16 Sep 2022 | Professional golf |

Once again Green makes an excellent start in Portland

by Dane Heverin

Hannah Green.

Hannah Green is in the hunt to win her first LPGA Tour title in three years with a six-under opening round of 66 placing her one shot back from leader Ayako Uehara of Japan at the AmazingCre Portland Classic.

The 25-year-old fired home eight birdies on Thursday at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, the scene of her most recent triumph on the premier tour in women’s golf. 

She formed part of an entertaining group with American Marina Alex and world number two Nelly Korda - who ended the day a shot behind Green after making seven birdies and an eagle.

The scoring was low in 2019 too as Green finished 21-under par with rounds of 63-63-73-67 and she expects the birdie blitz to continue this week.

“I guess (being in contention) just makes me sleep better at night,” the West Australian said. “You know, I think the scoring will be rather low. I could honestly see the winning score at the end of the week being in the 20s.”

Green’s promising start has drawn a number of historical parallels for the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA champion.

Earlier in the week, and after her first round, she emphasised how much confidence she gains from her fond memories in Portland, particularly with the putter, but Green also has a spring in her step because she is returning home to Perth at the end of this tournament.

Throughout her career, the world No.17 has made a habit of putting in strong showings prior to setting foot on Australian shores again.

“I think (going home to see family and friends) is part of the reason why I'm so happy to be out on the golf course. I haven't played four tournaments in a row in a while, but I wouldn't miss this stop for anything,” she said.

“To be able to go home and even go down the road to an Aussie cafe this afternoon for lunch, I'm pretty happy.”

Despite her return home being so close she can taste it, Green is keeping focused on the job at hand in the coming days.

“Just keep the momentum. Unfortunately I made a bogey on the last, but don't want to dwell on that. I guess I didn't hit a great shot, but I also got unlucky where I finished up,” she said.

“Yeah, just keep the momentum. Only missed two greens today, so I can't be too down on myself. Yeah, just keep giving myself opportunities, and, yeah, hopefully continue to hole those putts.”

Sarah Kemp continued her good form from her top-10 finish in Cincinnati last week with a three-under opening round of 69, while Harrison Endycott made an incredibly consistent start to his PGA TOUR career by making 18 pars in his debut round at the Fortinet Championship in California.

In Rome, Scott Hend is the best-placed of the Australians at two-under par through 13 holes, three shots off the lead.

Hend’s round was suspended due to fading light and Lucas Herbert is also in the mix at one-under with two holes still to play in his first round.

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