West Australian star Hannah Green will return to the LPGA Tour this week at the Evian Championship in France, fresh from a four-week break after her breakthrough win at the KPMG Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in June.
Green couldn’t have planned her time off more perfectly, travelling more than 16,000 kilometres from Minneapolis to her home just outside Perth with her trophy and rather large cheque to celebrate her Major success with her friends and family.
After her 14,000-kilometre trip back to Evian for this week’s event, the 22-year-old said that while she has enjoyed her time at home she can’t wait to get started again,
“I am so happy to be back out playing,” Green said. “Four weeks was great at home but I am now more motivated to work hard and win more events so it’s great to be back out here.”
For Green the break was a chance to digest all that had happened in her career in just one short week, not only winning her first LPGA event but it being a Major championship, and getting to share the experience with her boyfriend Jarryd Felton, her mentor Karrie Webb and fellow Australians, professionals Su Oh, Stacey Peters, Sarah Kemp and amateur stars Grace Kim and Becky Kay.
Green said that she had been slightly overwhelmed by the attention she has received this week, especially from her fellow LPGA members,
“I didn’t really know what to expect since it has been over a month since I won. But everyone that I didn’t get to see that Sunday has been so lovely the past two days in congratulating me.”
Green said she was looking forward to being announced on the tee this week as a Major winner, and playing alongside the other LPGA Major winners so far in 2019,
“Yes it will certainly be different but I’m sure it will make me smile. Especially to be playing with Jeong Eun and Jin Young, who have won the other Majors this year.”
Green said despite her Major triumph she wouldn’t change too much in terms of goals for the rest of 2019.
“I haven’t really changed any of my goals. Some now have been ticked off but I want to keep everything the same as It was before I won. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself I just want to continue to post good rounds and have good results for the rest of 2019.”
Of the other Australian players in the field, Green’s West Australian compatriot Minjee Lee looks the most likely to break her Major championship duck this week, while Katherine Kirk has some good form on the course in previous years, having finished in third place at Evian two years ago and registering a top-10 finish there last year.
Su Oh and Sarah Kemp round out the five-strong Aussie contingent in Evian. Oh has shown signs of brilliance in 2019 and surely her first LPGA win can’t be far away, while Kemp will be hoping to find some of the form that saw her finish in a tie for second place at the ISPS Handa Vic Open in February.
There is no doubt that the Aussies will be both buoyed and motivated by Green’s win at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and it would be no surprise to see any of them contend this week.
The Evian Championship is the fourth of five Majors in the LPGA season, with 120 players competing for a share of the $US4.1 million prizemoney on offer, an increase of $250,000 from last year, with the winner to pocket a cool $US615,000.
Forty-five of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List and 42 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Women’s World Rankings will be teeing it up this week, including defending champion American Angela Stanford, Rolex World Rankings No.1 Sung Hyun Park and American star Lexi Thompson, who has displayed some of her very best form so far in 2019.
The Evian Resort Golf Club course is not the longest on the LPGA Tour by any means, measuring at just 5,965 metres and playing as a par 71, however, as always the undulating fairways and greens and thick rough will no doubt provide a stern test of golf for the field this week.
Australian tee-times at the 2019 Evian Championship (all local times)
8:36am: Hannah Green, Jin Young Ko, Jeongeun Lee6
12:16pm: Minjee Lee, Sun Hyun Park, Lexi Thompson
1:44pm: Su Oh, Emily Toy (a), Mi Jung Hur
2:06pm: Katherine Kirk, Ally McDonald, Emma Talley
2:17pm: Sarah Kemp, Mi Hyung Lee, Madelene Sagstrom