LPGA

Hannah Green joins Aussie royalty, birdies last 3 holes to win in Singapore

March 03, 2024
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Andrew Redington

As Hannah Green's HSBC Women's World Championship winning putt rolled toward the cup, she could only grin. The Australian redeemed her 2021 collapse at the same event by closing with three straight birdies for a final-round 67, just enough to beat Celine Boutier by a stroke. Here is how Green won in Singapore.

Leaderboard

Win: Hannah Green (-13)

2: Celine Boutier (-12)

T-3: Yuna Nishimura (-9)

T-3: Mi Hyang Lee (-9)

T-3: Brooke Henderson (-9)

What it means

Green continues to build one of the more impressive resumes in Australian women's golf history. She is now one of five Aussies with at least four career LPGA victories, joining Karrie Webb, Jan Stephenson, Minjee Lee and Rachel Hetherington. The 27-year-old's late surge also denied golf history. Had Boutier won, she would have been projected to become the first French golfer, male or female, to become the No. 1 player in the world.

The 2019 KPMG Women's PGA Championship winner continues an emerging early-season trend; past major champions have won all four LPGA tournaments this year.

How it happened

A slow day by 54-hole leader Ayaka Furue opened the door for the field to catch up to her. The Japanese star began the day with a two-shot lead but didn't make her first birdie until the 14th hole. As the final two groups made the turn, there was a four-way tie at the top at 10 under par between Boutier, Green, Furue and Andrea Lee.

"It looked like it could be anyone's game on the back nine," Green said.

Lee and Furue shot over par on the final side, falling out of contention and setting up a battle between Boutier and Green.

Boutier, a four-time winner from last season broke away from the pack first, as she dropped a 35-foot birdie on the 12th to take the outright lead and another 25-footer for birdie on the 15th to build a two-stroke advantage.

Green began her late charge with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th. Boutier had her birdie opportunity on the 17th from 15 feet to push the lead back to two but left it a revolution short.

"I knew my putt was going to be important, and I kind of ended up being short-sided," Boutier said. "That was a bit frustrating."

Green confidently rolled her birdie putt on the 17th into the heart of the cup to tie Boutier with one to play. After glancing at the leaderboard, Green knew it would take a third straight birdie to win, with the second most challenging hole this week remaining. However, Green had birdied the 18th in the previous two rounds and had a 30-foot birdie chance to win.

As if Green knew she made it, she raised her right arm to the sky shortly before the ball went in. The clutch performance was the opposite of her struggling finish in 2021, where Green let the lead slip through her fingers with back-to-back three-putt bogeys to end the tournament and lose by a stroke.

"As soon as that putt went in, I was like, ‘oh, my God, I've won,’" Green said.

Quotable

"All I was thinking was on 18 was to two-putt, but so that I don't want to have a playoff," Green said. "I remember when Celine was in a playoff in Malaysia for nine holes. We didn't have a forecast for nine holes, nor would I want to play a nine-hole playoff. To see the putt go in straightaway was a surprise but also happy."

Best of the rest

-Brooke Henderson continues her strong early-season showing, with a closing 68 earning her second third-place finish and third top-10 in four starts this year. The Canadian struggled in early 2023, earning her third top-10 last season in her 22nd start.

-Patty Tavatanakit ends her season-opening Asia swing with a victory in Thailand and a T-8 in Singapore, as she won't be teeing it up at the Blue Bay LPGA. It is the first time she has strung together back-to-back top 10s since September 2021, another sign that her investment in improving her body's ability to handle four consecutive rounds is paying off.

-Mi Hyang Lee, 30, had her first top-three finish since a runner-up at the 2019 ANA Inspiration, continuing an impressive career turnaround. The two-time LPGA winner was buried on the tour's priority list in 2022, having to local qualify into events for starts to improve her status for 2023.

-Jin Young Ko's bid for the LPGA's first three-peat in nine years ended with a top-10 finish (T-8), falling six strokes short.