The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, June 27, 2019
KPMG Women's PGA highlights — Interview with Hannah Green — Must-click links in women's golf
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KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
What’s up, everyone? I’m just winding down from a pretty crazy week in Minnesota, but it was an awesome one nonetheless. We had records in every category! As anticipated, the crowds were incredible and it was known that Minnesotans love their golf.
As I touched on last week, Hazeltine National is known to be one of the tougher tracks in golf. Although our 2019 Champion, Hannah Green, won wire-to-wire (meaning she led the entire weekend) — it ended up being a really exciting finish.
Defending champion and former World No. 1 Sung Hyun Park finished just two shots off the lead, but Ariya Jutanugarn was right at Green’s heels until the Final Round. Green hails from Australia and this was her first-ever win on the LPGA. Why not make it a Major Championship win as your first? Impressive stuff.
Seeing it up close and following her for the last nine holes, you would have thought she had been in that position a thousand times. Still took the time to give high fives to the little kids watching. Still looked light on her feet. And when her final putt dropped, she was incredible emotional. I don’t blame her!
Another great storyline came out of the week as well other than this being her first LPGA win. Karrie Webb, Australian Hall of Famer, has her own scholarship program now to help grow the game and give back to the game in Australia. Hannah Green was one of her scholarship recipients when Hannah started playing golf seriously. Karrie is won of her biggest idols and was one of the first people on the green dousing Hannah in cups of beer. AND she was staying in the same house as Karrie the week of the championship! It really could not have been scripted better.
One other highlight about Hannah Green. I didn’t catch this in person as I was in the media center when it happened — but a little girl stopped her during Round 3 and handed her a poem. Hannah stopped dead in her tracks to read it, gave the little girl a hug and continued on. Turns out, she tucked it into her yardage book (so it wouldn’t get wet – boo rain) and read it at one point during the Final Round. Hannah had given this little girl a signed golf ball earlier in the year so they’ve been a fan ever since. I’d imagine that fandom has skyrocketed even more so!
Per LPGA Media, Green jumps up 85 spots from a No. 114 World ranking to No. 29 — a career-best mark. This is the biggest change in ranking for a major winner since 2013 when a fifth major was added to the LPGA. As if everything else I just talked about isn’t enough to realize the magnitude of her win, she really had all the odds against her. Will be a ton of fun following her career from here and see if she can continue to ride the hot hand!
This Week in Women’s Golf
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Green hangs on to win her first LPGA major.
More ANWA and ANA talk! Mike Whan not quite ready to move dates.
LPGA has an abundance of stars but not a big enough stage.
One more year of talking could benefit when the LPGA holds ANA Inspiration.
Mike Whan hasn’t heard people talk about anyone more than Maria Fassi.
The LPGA’s broadcast schedule is frustrating, but you can look ahead to 2022.
Stacy Lewis embracing motherhood on tour.
Here are some things to know for the next LPGA event in Arkansas.
Not even Hannah Green thought she could win at Hazeltine.
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Hannah Green
See what 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Champion Hannah Green had to say after her win. Visit the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship Facebook page for the full interview.
What was the feeling standing over that putt on 18?
That was the most nervous I was all day and the second shot into the hole. I just didn’t want to miss the putt. I mean when do you ever want to miss a putt put? That was really nice for it to go in and yeah, for it to actually go in the middle of the hole and good pace, I was really happy about that because I felt like I was striking it well all day and maybe didn’t make as many putts as I would have liked.
How were you throughout the round with the fluctuation and the fact that what was a three-stroke lead had gone down to one?
I was watching the leaderboard and then on 18 I heard the cheer for SH so I knew the situation, I knew I needed to par 18 but I think the birdie putt on 16 was huge just to give me that gap coming down 18, and I mean I knew 18 was a tough pin position but I know the girls are a lot longer than me and have shorter clubs in, they could actually go for it. I had to just try and play it up the green on the right. So, yeah, I just can’t believe I’m here right now.
Do you get confidence from each round that you’re in the lead or do you find yourself compartmentalizing each day and trying to take each one as it comes in?
Well, it’s my first time in this position and I don’t know how successful people are with leading everyday so I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t get too ahead of myself even out on the golf course, let alone off the golf course. I think it’s hard when you have the lead overnight because there’s so many thoughts about what can happen. That was my first time doing it. I really didn’t want to talk about it or think about it. I just wanted to take every shot, every hole just one step at a time and I think I did that well, especially the last five holes.
Karrie mentioned the barbecue they had. Did staying at the house sort of help you stay grounded, relaxed a little bit between rounds?
Yeah, it did. As soon as I left the Media Center I went to the store to go buy an umbrella, I didn’t buy any rain pants. But as soon as I got home everyone was there and making the food so it was really nice to just have all the Australians there and there really wasn’t much golf talk at all. That was perfect. That’s what I wanted. We didn’t stay up that late. Having some good chats towards the end of the night. It was really fun. I think it was perfect. It was definitely how I want to spend a Saturday night.
There were a lot of young girls watching throughout the weekend. You’re a young winner of your first Major at 22 years old. How inspirational do you feel this can be for other girls who are wanting to get into this sport?
As soon as I see a young girl out there, if I have the opportunity, I want to give them a high five or smile or say hello. I never had the opportunity to do that at that age so me just giving them a smile can do something and oh, yup, I want to be like her. It only takes a second and it can change someone’s life. I mean just seeing — yeah, how many girls were out there, was awesome. I think that — not that I’ve played in front of crowds like that, that was probably the most people or most girls I’ve ever seen watch a golf tournament. It just shows how strong it is up here.