The most in-form player at the Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open isn’t one that usually springs to mind at ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia tournament.
West Australian sensation Hannah Green is teeing it up this week at Royal Perth Golf Club fresh from securing her LPGA Tour card for 2018.
Having turned professional at the end of 2016, Green spent this year competing on the Symetra Tour where she finished second on the Order of Merit thanks to 12 top-10 finishes, including three victories from 20 starts.
“It’s been a great year; I won three times this year which was my goal so things have been in a really good place,” Green said. “I got my LPGA Tour card a couple of weeks ago. I sealed it probably four or five weeks ago but I actually won two of the last three events that I played so that was pretty cool.
“I have played my best golf the last couple of weeks so that has been a real positive coming into this week. The last six weeks my confidence has really grown.”
This is the third time Green has teed it up in the WA Open. She made her debut in 2013 and then played again in 2015 as an amateur.
“It’s nice to be home in WA and I am excited to play in front of a home crowd this week,” added Green. “This is my first year as a professional and little things are different now. I have learnt what to do on tour, which is definitely going to help me this week.”
While her goal is to make the cut, a feat no woman has achieved in a PGA Tour of Australasia tournament, Green is aware that the men in the field have a distinct advantage.
“I am going to be hitting 4-irons and they are going to be hitting 8-irons. I played a practice round with Oliver Goss, Jarryd Felton and Min Woo Lee. I would hit a good drive and they were still 40 metres in front of me,” Green said. “I made a couple of birdies out there so it wasn’t too bad, but I had completely different clubs into holes than they did. So I need to play smarter this week than maybe I would at a Symetra event.”
However what Green lacks in distance she makes up for in course knowledge, having played numerous times at Royal Perth.
“I have played many junior tournaments, pennant and amateur events at Royal Perth so I am very familiar with the course. This is probably only the second event of the year that I am playing a course that I know well,” added Green. “This course is really short but it is very narrow, so I think that will benefit me. But the guys are going to hit wedges into nearly every green, they have a driveable par-4 and a couple of par 5s that they can go for in two. But the greens are always so fast here, so I think that is what will make or break.
“I don’t know what to expect of the tournament scoring or what my scoring might be. I also don’t know how things will go during the week but I have given myself the best shot.”
Green tees off in the first round tomorrow at 7.30am alongside fellow West Australian and former champion of the tournament Daniel Fox, as well as Victorian amateur Zach Murray. Joining Green in the field this week is defending champion Curtis Luck, World Super 6 Perth champion Brett Rumford and 2012 WA Open champion Oliver Goss.
In addition to the winner’s share of the $100,000 prize purse, the WA Open champion will receive Official World Golf Ranking Points and be fully exempt onto the PGA Tour of Australasia until the end of the 2018 season.