A challenge evolved into an almost impossible task as a gallant Hannah Green settled for second at the LPGA Tour’s DIO Implant LA Open in Los Angeles.
Paired with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka in the final group on Sunday at Wilshire Country Club, Green set out to eat into the four-stroke deficit yet was turned away with every charge.
Hataoka extended her lead to five with a birdie at the first, Green responding with birdies of her own at the third and fourth holes to stay within four.
After birdies at four and five Hataoka dropped a shot at the par-4 sixth yet responded with a birdie at the par-3 seventh, going out in three-under 32 to establish a five-stroke buffer.
The tournament front-runners traded pars for the next five holes until Hataoka landed the killer blow with a bomb from the top tier for eagle at the par-5 15th, Green’s birdie actually losing ground to trail by six with three holes to play.
Ultimately finishing five shots shy, a final round of three-under 69 was enough for Green to secure outright second and a projected climb to 15th in the Race to CME Globe standings.
It was a strong finish for 2019 champion Minjee Lee, the West Australian earning a share of third spot with a closing 68 highlighted by three birdies between the 12th and 16th holes.
“To be fair, I’m probably a little disappointed in my performance this week,” Lee reflected.
“I made a lot of bogeys but I did make a lot of birdies, so I guess that’s the good thing.
“Top five, I don’t think I can really be too disappointed, but hopefully better things to come next week.”
[Image: Getty Images]