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Perth’s Hannah Green has been rewarded for a stellar summer with elevation to Tier 1 status within Golf Australia’s national squad.
With six top-five finishes in nine national amateur rankings events – including a win in the Victorian Amateur Championship – and no result lower than ninth, the Mt Lawley ace has an unassailable lead in the race to the 2016 Karrie Webb Scholarship.
But it has been her outstanding results against world-class professional fields in the past six weeks that prompted GA high performance director Brad James and his national coaches to elevate Green, just 15 months after she was dropped from the squad overall.
“Hannah’s work ethic has improved dramatically in the past six months – that was noted by the coaches,” James said.
“Ultimately what we’re looking for is success at the professional level and that’s a good indicator for future success. Can the athlete compete against the best in the world on golf courses that are set up for the best in the world to compete at? Hannah has shown she can.”
Green, 19, finished 11th alongside Webb in the Oates Vic Open, then T10 in the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open after being paired with world No.1 Lydia Ko.
She then backed up to finish a creditable T20th alongside Australian No.1 Minjee Lee in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open against a fully fledged LPGA Tour field, then was top Australian at T12 at the Australian Ladies Masters.
Not only has her world amateur ranking spiked to No.44, she’s now also ranked 246th in the Rolex Rankings taking in the professionals, too.
“Hannah’s form against the world’s best players show she’s already more than able to compete against the leading professionals,” James said.
“But she’s also proven to herself that there’s still room for improvement and the way she’s working so hard to attain that is testament to the type of athlete Hannah has become.”
It is a significant milestone for Green, who has stated her desire to turn professional later this year.
She is just the 13th person and fourth woman to achieve the top status in the elite squad since it was introduced in 2011 and it will increase her funding for travel, coaching and, hopefully, exposure to more professional tournaments.
She is the fourth West Australian to rise to the level, after Lee, Brady Watt and Oliver Goss, all now professionals.
“It’s very rare. She’s in good company,” James said.
Green is coached by West Australia’s national coach Ritchie Smith and lost just one match playing at No.1 for Golf Western Australia in last year’s Interstate Series in Melbourne.