Hannah Green completed a wire-to-wire victory on Monday at the IOA Golf Classic at Alaqua Country Club in Florida, claiming her third title on the Symetra Tour in 2017.
Green carded a final-round 2-under par 69 to finish at 13-under par and claim a 2 shot victory. The West Australian built a four-stroke lead on Monday morning and then survived a shaky finish to edge out American Katelyn Dambaugh by 2 shots. Fellow Americans Lindsey Weaver and Elizabeth Szokol finished in a tie for third place a further shot back at 10-under par.
For Green, 20, the win was her third Symetra Tour victory of the season and she pocketed the US$22,500 first-place prize to move from fourth to third on the Volvik Race for the Card money list. She has earned US$105,054 in 19 starts and is the third player this season to eclipse US$100,000 in earnings, which has never happened in Symetra Tour history.
“For the tournament to be over and for me to have the trophy is awesome,” said Green. “I’m just glad that I have my LPGA Tour card for 2018.”
Green is also the second player to pick up three victories (Nanna Koerstz Madsen). It’s the first time that two players have won at least three tournaments in a single-season.
“I always wanted three wins and I talked to my coach (at the beginning of the year) and we set simple goals and three was the major goal,” said Green who also won the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout two weeks ago. “To have two wins in three weeks is definitely not how I planned it out, but to have three is awesome.”
Green had started the final-round late on Sunday afternoon and completed just nine holes before play was suspended for the day. After a weekend of rain delays and suspensions, the final-round restarted on Monday morning at 8:28 am local time with Green having a 2 shot buffer over the rest of the field.
She resumed on Monday from the par 5 tenth hole, and hit her third shot of the morning to less than a metre for a birdie and a three-shot cushion. Green then made further birdies at the 12th and 14th holes to stretch her lead to four shots with just 4 holes remaining.
Seemingly cruising to victory, Green uncharacteristically hit her tee shot out of bounds on the 16th hole leading to a double-bogey, before missing the green on the 17th hole which led to another dropped shot.
“I didn’t know what the score was on the last hole, I just thought I had to two-putt to win,” said Green, who didn’t know at the time she could have won the tournament with a bogey on the 18th hole “The scoreboard wasn’t completed yet, but it eased the nerves when I walked to the scorers tent after making par.”
Green won her first Symetra Tour event back in April at the Sara Bay Classic, and captured her 2nd title two weeks ago in Arkansas. Her form has been outstanding at the back end of the season with two wins and a top five finish in the last three weeks.
“My game has definitely improved and I think going home during the off weeks was the big difference,” said Green who returned home to Perth for a mid-season break “Seeing my friends and family and only being on the road for six weeks during this stretch has helped. The hard work has paid off.”
Green has now played five straight tournaments and will play a sixth in a row next week at the Symetra Tour Championship to finish the season, and is still in the running to win the Symetra Tour Player of the Year award.
“I’m getting really tired and this week was not what we were used to with all the delays, but to play five in a row is a lot of golf,” said Green. “Hopefully I have a good week this week in Daytona and then I get a bit of a rest before I play in another event back home in Perth.”
Following the Symetra Tour season, Green will play against the men in the WA Open, an event on the PGA of Australia.
Then, it’s time to rest and recharge for the LPGA in 2018.
“My first event on the LPGA will be in January, but it still feels far away,” said Green. “I’ll have some down time to get rest and then get back into practicing. The schedule fits in really well.”
Final results and prizemoney can be found at symetrascoring.com
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