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Hannah Green extends Lead at KPMG Women's PGA

Green during today's second round. (Photo: Getty Images / Jamie Squire)
Australian Hannah Green has retained the lead she held after day one of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, a second round of 69, the only player in the field with two rounds in the 60’s, extending her lead to three shots over Ariya Jutanugarn.

Green began the day with a bogey at the Hazeltine National Golf Club but by the turn she was very much back on track with three birdies for an opening nine of 34.

It might be however a par save she made on the 12th hole today after finding the water with her second shot on the par 5 that will play a key role in how this tournament unfolds. Instead of a potential double bogey it was a par and the momentum was not lost.

For the second day in succession she had holed a shot from the fairway although while she is getting breaks on the golf course she is clearly playing very well on such a demanding golf course.

“I actually found water on my second shot,” said Green. “I actually didn't even notice the hazard yesterday or in the practice round. I don't know what I was doing on that hole.

“I knew there was a chance of it going into the hazard but I was pretty disciplined and obviously it went in there and said to my caddy I need to get it close as possible.

“It's still quite a tough pitch shot. When it went in, I just laughed because I guess with the hole-out on 7 yesterday and with the hole-out today, it's really going my way.

"Really nice to have that goal and obviously to keep it clean after the bogey on 1. So, yeah, just nice to at least be getting some luck on the course.

Green has experienced contention in tournaments having won three times of the LPGA’s development tour, the Symetra Tour in 2017 before graduating to the higher level but she is very much aware of what lies ahead.

“I mean even when you play this type of golf and just a regular event you're pretty proud of yourself, but this week especially, I've never put myself in this position in any event so to be doing it this week at such a great venue definitely shows things are going the right way.

“I have had some luck going my way. I do hope that continues. This will be a big factor this weekend. I got to keep doing what I'm doing. I feel like I'm hitting the ball better to be more consistent this weekend.”

So how did Green cope when sleeping on the lead after yesterday’s impressive start?

“I actually slept really well. I was actually really tired once I got home, which is good. Had really good Thai food and had a nice hot shower. Fortunately enough I guess having the lead overnight didn't affect me too much when I was sleeping. I probably didn't get as much sleep as I would have liked with the early start but I slept really well.”

Green leads by three over the powerful Jutanugarn who got within one at one stage of the round, but four back is another long hitter Sung Hyun Park, both players former world number ones so while the lead is a nice cushion at present the weekend presents all kind of new experiences for the 22 year old.

Also at 3 under and four from the lead is New Zealand’s, Lydia Ko, who has found form at the right time as she chases her first Women’s PGA Championship.

Now working with a new coach, David Whelan, Ko recovered from an early birdie with three birdies before the turn and finished with a round of 70 to get within four of the lead.

Ko’s incredible record of so many LPGA Tour titles, including two major victories, will stand her in good stead over the final 36 holes and although her length has never been her strength she appears to be getting things back on track and her progress over this monster layout will be interesting.

Minjee Lee is at 3 over par and although ten shots from her fellow West Australian, Green, she is seven shots from Jutanugarn and not beyond contention with a strong weekend.  

Su Oh was the other Australian to make the cut finishing right on the cut mark of 5 over par.

 

 

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