Hannah Green rides out gusty winds to open 3-stroke lead at Palos Verdes Championship
PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. — Hannah Green took the weekend lead in the Palos Verdes Championship, bouncing back from back-to-back bogeys Thursday in gusty winds to birdie both late par 5s in a 5-under 66 .
Green had a three-stroke lead over five players in the hills of Palos Verdes Estates at the freshman event that wraps up the LPGA Tour’s two-week stay in the Los Angeles area and five-event swing on the West Coast.
“Hopefully I can keep as many bogeys on the scorecard and still birdie,” Green said. “I think there will be low scores.”
Green finished second to Nasa Hataoka on Sunday at the Los Angeles Open at Whilshire Country Club. She has two other top-eight finishes this season, sixth at Singapore and sixth at Mission Hills in the first major of the year.
“I’m excited to see what the weekend will bring,” Green said. “I think maybe they’ll change the layout of the course, maybe make it a bit more manageable. It’ll be good. I’m excited. Always nice to play in the last group and play on the weekends last one, I think that helps as well.”
The Aussie birdied the first three holes and five of the first seven on Friday of her afternoon round, then wasted shots on the par-4 12th and par-3 13th downhill. She collected the shots with birdies at 14 and 16 and closed with two pars to finish at 9 under 133.
“It was a really good start,” Green said. front nine. I knew the back nine was going to be pretty tough with the wind picking up and getting a bit gusty.”
Green birdied all three par-5s each day. She won both of her LPGA Tour titles in 2019, winning the KPMG Women’s PGA Major Championship at Hazeltine and the Portland Classic.
First-round leader Minjee Lee followed her opening 63 with a 73 to tie for second place with Jin Young Ko (72), Lydia Ko (67) and Megan Khang (69).
The fourth, Lee, won the par-5 seventh and had four bogeys. She finished tied for third at Wilshire.
Jin Young Ko had a double bogey on No. 5 and a single birdie. Last week, she fell to a tie for 21st after sharing the lead at the end of lap three.
“I was hard to loop in the afternoon,” Jim Young Ko said. “The greens are bumpy and windy out there, so it was tough.”
Lydia Ko had an early double bogey on the par-3 13th and nailed the seventh.
“You just have to play creatively and be patient,” Ko said. can catch you at the next hole.”
Maude-Aimee Leblanc (68), Annie Park (69) and Jennifer Chang (72) were 5 under.
Lexi Thompson, playing alongside Ko and Brooke Henderson, was even tied after a 73 in her first event since her fourth tie four weeks ago at Mission Hills. Henderson shot 75-72 to miss the cut for the second straight week.
Augusta National Women’s Amateur winner Anna Davis made the cut in the first start on the LPGA Tour, shooting 71-72. The 16-year-old is from Spring Valley, east of San Diego. She received a sponsorship waiver.