Hannah Green will have plenty of support at Royal Adelaide this week, in particular from two new friends from her home club Mt Lawley in Perth.
Australia’s latest major champion will tee it up in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open tomorrow with two MyGolf participants, Alice and Rosie Tonts, walking inside the ropes with her.
The sisters have come to Adelaide as part of an arrangement with Golf Australia, which contacted Green recently and asked if she wanted to bring some of the girls from the junior program at Mt Lawley.
When Green came home from America and began practising at Mt Lawley for the 2020 season in January, she worked closely with the girls from the junior program including the Tonts, whom she estimated were “probably better than I was at that age”.
It is one of the 23-year-old’s more endearing qualities that she is prepared to give back to the sport, and does it quite spontaneously.
Green starts tomorrow at 12.35pm with Lydia Ko and last week’s Vic Open winner, Hee Young Park of South Korea.
It’s her fifth try at winning the Women’s Australian Open, and she’s been inside the top 10 in each of the past three years. She knows that there will be more pressure being at home, but there is an upside, too.
“There’s definitely going to be a lot more expectation on myself and I’ve got to make sure that I’m not pushing myself too hard and possibly setting myself up for failure,” she said. “I know I really have a great time when I’m on the golf course here in Australia, so I just want to make sure that I’m having fun and enjoying myself out there.’’
Green’s mission is to back up her groundbreaking 2019 – she won the Women’s PGA Championship and another LPGA tournament and moved up to No. 22 in the world rankings – without losing her humility or sense of decency.
“I guess (I) definitely get more attention when I’m back in Australia, golf courses in Western Australia particularly,’’ she said. “But yes, I guess it’s kind of just making sure that I still stay the same type of person as I was last year and even my rookie year. It can definitely get to your head and you can definitely become a different person and I hope that doesn’t happen.”
Ironically, one of the best questions asked at her media conference today came from Alice Tonts, who wanted some advice for a young player. Green said: “I think just making sure you’re enjoying yourself and definitely being self-motivated. Don’t have anyone try and push you to try and become the best. You need to have that self-belief and that self-will.’’
It says a lot about her, that reply.