Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. ( Associated Press) — Hannah Green took the lead in the Palos Verdes Championship on Saturday after a disappointing start on the hill, a wind-driven course over the Pacific Ocean.
Three strokes ahead of Lydia Ko and three other players entering the day, Green scored 1 over 72 to beat Bogey on the first two holes and took a one-shot lead over fellow Co in the final round.
“I got off to a terrible start, I guess you could say,” Green said. “Today I short-side myself several times, so I was really happy with the 1 over score. Just hit some funny wedge shots and didn’t even read the lies and wind direction.”
Green closed nine bogey-eagle-bogie-birdie from behind and dropped a stroke on par-4 12th. The Aussie birdieed the par-5 in 16th place and crossed the last two to finish at 8-under 205.
“It’s tough,” Green said. “You know this golf course has some opportunities, but you also know that there are some tough holes. You just have to be patient like every other golf course, but it’s hard when Lydia is patting your back And have such good scores from earlier in the day.”
Ko overcame a poor start and scored 70 runs. The New Zealander had a double bogey at par-4 second and a bogey on par-4 fourth.
“I think I made it a little harder than that,” Ko said. “But seeing as how I started, par for the day, up and over to finish later.”
He rallied with five birdies, the last at 30 feet on the 16th. He bogeyed Par-3 17th and saved par with a 7-footer on Par-4 18th.
“It was really windy,” Ko said. “I think there is a huge difference between morning and afternoon play. Luckily, the wind settled down in the last few holes, so that made it a little easier.”
Ko, ranked third in the world, won the Gainbridge LPGA in January in Boca Rio for her 17th LPGA Tour title.
Green won both of her LPGA Tour titles in 2019, taking major KPMG Women’s PGA at Hazeltine and Portland Classic. She was second behind Nasa Hatoka at the LA Open at Wilshire Country Club a week earlier.
Lexi Thompson jumped from a tie to 37th place at 5 under with 66, more than 2 1/2 hours away from Green and Ko in the final group. She’s making her debut since finishing fourth at the first major championship of the year in Mission Hills four weeks ago.
“The first two days were a little tough with the ball strike, but today came together,” Thompson said. “Had a good range session yesterday after I went round and figured out a few things. Just felt confident coming in today.”
Alison Corpuz (68) also 5 under with Gemma Dryberg (68), Inby Park (70), Marina Alex (70), Andrea Lee (70), Annie Park (71), Megan Khang (72) and first-round leader were. Minji Lee (72).
Inby Park scored 16 for the Eagles and took the lead with 7 unders, then bogeyed the final two holes.
Top-ranked Jin Young was 4 under after 73.
Augusta National Women’s Amateur winner Anna Davis was 2 overs after 72 on her first LPGA Tour debut. The 16-year-old is from Spring Valley, east of San Diego. He got a sponsor discount.
“To be able to play at an LPGA Tour event over the weekend, it’s a great experience,” Davis said. “Definitely looking forward to many more.”