Australian Green in the Pink at Sentosa

Hannah Green reacts as her birdie putt on 18 drops into the cup to secure her victory in the HSBC Women’s World Championship.

Singapore: Australian Hannah Green broke into yet another smile way before her lengthy putt at the 18th collapsed in the cup. The ball still had a twist and turn ahead, but the 27-year-old just knew she was on the point of winning the HSBC Women’s World Championship.

Having started the event with a lacklustre 74, she had followed up with a trio of 67s to finish at 13-under-par to Celine Boutier’s 12-under. 

In January, the champagne would have been flowing at Green’s wedding to Jarryd Felton who is currently playing in the Webex Players Series, and it was flowing again as her Aussie friends soaked her from hat to toe on the 18th green of the Tanjong Course at Sentosa Golf Club, a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

She had spoken to her coach after the third round and his advice had focused on how she should aim for a run of early birdies. She failed to oblige on that score and, when it came to the turn, she was precariously placed in a share of the lead with three others.

As it turned out, all she had done was to save those birdies till the end, making three in a row from the 16th. She said: “I knew that I needed to at least birdie the last to win by one. So as soon as that putt went in, I was like: ‘Oh my God, I’ve won’.” 

It could so easily have been her second victory in the championship. Back in 2021, she was poised to win when she had three-putt greens at each of the 17th and 18th – something which would have hurt even more had she not won the KPMG LPGA, a Major, and the Cambia Portland Classic two years earlier.

Boutier, who was two shots behind pace-setting Ayaka Furue going into the final round, had been warming up on the putting green in the hope of a play-off when she heard the celebratory rumpus on the home green. 

“I was just trying to do something because I was kind of nervous and sitting around watching wasn’t really helping,” she said. Certainly, she was not overly worried about her putting when she had signed off by making a teasing five-footer to stay in with a chance.

Even if it was not one more win for the French player, you doubt she will ever forget a week in which she presented her father with a second-round 64 on his birthday.

Japan’s Furue, on the other hand, had to be upset when she slipped from first to a share of eighth place.

Green was not the first Australian to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship. Karrie Webb won in 2011, while it was in 2015 that this winner of seven Majors and 56 professional tournaments in all presented Green with a Karrie Webb scholarship. In accord with the rules of amateur status, the money that came with it was to cover her expenses in the amateur game.

Yet to Green, nothing meant more than getting to know Webb, the person and the golfer. She said: “She would have me to stay and I would be able to watch her from behind the ropes and learn from everything she did.”

Asked if, as a four-time LPGA Tour winner, she had advice to offer to others, Green began by saying: “You just have to enjoy the sport. Even though I’ve now had four wins on the LPGA and won 11 worldwide, I’ve known many hard moments. You have to take the highs when they come because they don’t always come. Golf can be a learning sport.”

As much as anything, she treasured having so many Australian friends on Tour. “It’s nice that we get to travel together and have dinner together.” Her point, here, was that they were friendly enough to be pleased for each other in the event of a win.

How obvious that was as Green collected her trophy.

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