Hannah Green earns wire-to-wire win and first major at Women's PGA
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 24/06/19 9:29am
Hannah Green completed an impressive wire-to-wire victory as she held off Sung Hyun Park and a fast-finishing Mel Reid on the final day of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
Green overcame a mid-round stutter to clinch a one-stroke win over Park in just her seventh appearance in a major, while Reid enjoyed her best finish in her major championship career as a closing 66 propelled her to a podium finish at Hazeltine National in Minnesota.
Australian Green led by one overnight from two-time major champion Ariya Jutanugarn, who looked out of sorts from the start and faded out of contention around the turn, failing to make a single birdie in her disappointing 77.
Birdies at the second and seventh holes took Green four strokes clear of the field, but the pressure of leading from the front in a major started to show around the turn as she dropped three shots in a nervy four-hole stretch to slip to eight under.
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That run saw her lead trimmed to two as Park picked up her third birdie of the day at the 11th before she made a crucial mistake at 12, although the world No 4 bounced back with birdie at the 15th to get within one of the faltering front-runner.
Up ahead at the 18th, Reid carded her eighth birdie of her final round to cap a superb 66 which earned her the clubhouse lead on six under, although the English star would ultimately finish three shots behind the champion.
Green responded to Park's birdie at 15 with a priceless 15-foot putt for a three at the par-four 16th which gave her some breathing space for the final two holes, but her advantage was again cut to one when Park birdied the last to complete a 68 and finish on eight under.
There was another late twist when Green suffered another attack of nerves on the long last as she dumped her third into a greenside bunker, but the 22-year-old splashed out to five feet and calmly rolled in the winning putt to become the first Australian to win a women's major since Karrie Webb claimed her seventh at the Kraft Nabisco Championship 13 years ago.
Reid's second major top 10 in her 28 appearances, and her first since the Women's British Open in 2015, was a share of third with leading American Nelly Korda, while Danielle Kang and Lizette Salas finished one shot further back on five under.
Jutanugarn slipped to three under and into a tie for 10th, while reigning Women's British Open champion Georgia Hall fired a closing 73 to finish on one over par alongside home favourite Lexi Thompson.