Date: August 08, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Green pockets invaluable lessons

Only time will tell how Hannah Green’s run to the quarter-finals of the US Women’s Amateur will be viewed.

A bout of food poisoning, limited preparation and a series of lost chances in what turned out to be her last match at the weekend might conspire to have many thinking negatively.

But not Green.

The 19-year-old defied the odds several times to reach the last eight of the world’s biggest amateur event and seemingly bound for even higher honours when 3-up after walking off the 12th at Rolling Green with a par.

The West Australian, still battling the illness that had made her breath-taking efforts during the three previous match play rounds even more remarkable, finally ran out of puff on a stifling Philadelphia afternoon.

A par-bogey-bogey run quickly gobbled up the Mount Lawley member’s lead, but again she rallied and with a par on the 17th, took a 1-up lead to the 18th against Mathilda Cappeliez.

The Frenchwoman rolled in what turned out to be a critical 3m par putt, but had taken off her visor to shake hands when Green, from nowhere, three-putted including a lip-out on the par putt that would have put her into the final four.

Then, on the par-three 19th hole, Cappeliez again made a critical mid-range putt for par from the right bunker and when Green couldn’t match from the left trap and her brave run ended.

And while clearly disappointed, the national squad member was upbeat after a great North American stint including a Golf Australia camp in Texas and a tie for second in the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship.

“I think that I really lost concentration in that last five or six holes,” Green said afterwards.

“I did think I had it when I was three-up, but I knew the last five holes were difficult and that anything could happen, so I was still trying to put the pressure on Mathilda … it just didn’t work out.

“But I’m proud of myself. I don’t think I really know what I’ve achieved this week yet.

“I’m happy with the last two weeks and I’ve learnt a lot about myself.”

And for Green, the cloud of defeat had a lovely silver lining as she begins to plan for a switch to professional ranks at some point in the coming year.

“I just found out this morning that I’m exempt into the second stage of the LPGA Tour’s Q-school, so that’s great news.”

That next hurdle, which might well determine the path she takes, is from October 17-23 at the Plantation Golf and Country Club in Florida with the final stage, should she advance, from November 28.

One thing’s for sure, Green knows now – if she didn’t already – that her game measures very nicely against the world’s best.

And there are few more important prizes in golf.

The US Women’s Amateur was won this morning by Korean Eun Jeong Seong, who drained a remarkable 12m birdie putt on the 36th and final hole to beat Italy’s Virginia Carta 1-up.

The win means Seong, 16, is the first to hold the US Girls’ and US Women’s Amateur titles concurrently. Last month she became the first person to successfully defend the US Girls’ title in 45 years.