Tour News

Green and Lee start well at LPGA's Lotte Championship

Green shows sharp improvement in Hawaii (file) (Photo: Bruce Young)
West Australian golfers, Hannah Green and Minjee Lee, have started the LPGA Tour’s Lotte Championship in Hawaii in fine fashion with rounds of 66 and 67 respectively to be well placed heading into round two of the event at Ko Olina on Oahu.

Green, in her second season on the LPGA Tour, is in a group just three shots from the lead of Nelly Korda and in a share of 5th place.

Her effort was particularly pleasing given her indifferent start to the year where her best finish other than a 10th place at the Women’s Australian Open has been 44th in five starts.

I'm definitely very happy,” said Green reflecting on a round that included an eagle at the par 4 3rd hole (the 13th of her round).

“I felt like my game was trending pretty well coming into this event. My last event, ANA, I had just a lot of bad breaks, so it was nice to finally see some putts go in and then also a couple lucky bounces.

“I thought that I've been hitting the ball pretty well, but I noticed a couple things that was -- my usual tendencies were kind of starting to creep in, so last week I spoke with my coaches and sent some video back to Australia and we worked on things.

“It's nothing that I haven't had to work on before, which is nice, but it just slowly crept in. I think that's why I had the scores I did an ANA. It was mainly long game that I worked on. I feel like putting everyone can always get better at, and sometimes you have to get a little bit lucky to hole some putts out on the golf course."

One hole on which Green did not have to worry about putting on was at her 13th hole of the round where she holed from the fairway for the eagle which had her challenging the opening day lead.

“I hit a drive onto the fairway, and then I had roughly 86 meters, I think. Hit my gap wedge and had a couple bounces and went into the hole.

“I wasn't sure if it went in because I don't have the best eyesight. But, yeah, my caddie was like, I think it went in. I was like, Oh, and then people started to clap.

“So that was really cool. I hit that club a couple times from roughly that yardage earlier in my nine and didn't really hit it close at all, so it was nice to have it reward myself for that hole.”

Lee, who has also struggled in recent starts after what had been a good start to the year, was bogey free and finds herself in a share of 7th position.

Katherine Kirk had a bogey free round of 70 to be in a share of 38th place while the other Australian in the field, LPGA Tour rookie, Robyn Choi, had five birdies and four bogeys for her round of 71.

The leader Korda is ahead by one over Eun Hee Ji with Hyejin Choi and defending champion Brooke Henderson another shot back.



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