Home Australia ‘I love it here’: Australian star Green defends LPGA Tour title in Los Angeles

‘I love it here’: Australian star Green defends LPGA Tour title in Los Angeles

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'I love it here': Australian star Green defends LPGA Tour title in Los Angeles

Hannah Green has continued her love affair with Wilshire Golf Club to successfully defend her Los Angeles Championship crown with one of the most impressive displays of the year.

The former Australian major champion made a brilliant play on the back nine to close with a five-under 66 and stormed the field in the shadows of Los Angeles’ iconic Hollywood Hills.

With a streak of five under par through five holes, Green finished with a total of 272, 12 under par, three strokes ahead of Sweden’s Maja Stark (68).

Green stretched his streak to 16 consecutive rounds under par on the course to slam the door on his pursuers.

“He’s very nice to me. I love it here,” she said.

In addition to her success as the HSBC Women’s World Champion in Singapore last month, Green joins world number one Nelly Korda as the second player to achieve multiple victories on the LPGA Tour in 2024.

“Obviously by winning in Singapore and then winning here this week, I hope I can get closer to my goal of being in the top 10 in the world and cementing my place at the Olympics,” said the Perth prodigy.

Green will rise from 18th in the world to the top of the top 10, as well as moving up to third place in the season-long points standings behind five-time winner Korda and New Zealand’s Lydia Ko.

The 27-year-old also joins greats Karrie Webb (41), Jan Stephenson (16), Minjee Lee (10) and Rachel Hetherington (eight) as the fifth Australian to win at least five times on the LPGA Tour.

After starting the day sharing the lead with compatriot Grace Kim, Green quickly established a two-stroke lead on the first hole.

Green’s birdie and Kim’s bogey left Green with the outright lead, and he maintained it all afternoon despite a strong challenge from Stark.

Runner-up to Korda in last week’s Chevron Championship, the first major of the year, Stark was just one shot behind after birdying the seventh and 13th holes as Green worked hard midway through the round with seven straight pars.

But a birdie on the par-3 12th broke the shackles for Green, who took another shot at the 13th to move two strokes away.

“When I put up 12, I felt like I really caught one there,” he said.

“So I knew what I had to do. I made it very easy for myself, so I’m very grateful.”

Stark received a big opportunity on the 15th when his bunker shot hit the flag and he stopped short for an easy birdie when a bogey seemed more likely.

Green, however, more than held his nerve: he hit the start button with a spectacular eagle three on the 15th, followed by a fourth birdie of the day on the 16th.

Cashing a check for $562,500, the Western Australian surpassed $5 million in career prize money.

While Green rejoiced, Kim’s weekend of horror continued with a demoralizing six-over 77 to drop to 25th place.

The 23-year-old had a four-stroke lead at the halfway point and was on track to capture a second LPGA Tour title.

Instead, Kim was reduced to a disaster, unable to make a single birdie all weekend and racking up nine bogeys and a double.

Despite her disappointment, the elegant Kim was the first to shower her triumphant playing partner with champagne on the 18th green.

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