Hannah Green leads the Women's PGA Championship. — Photo golfaustralia.com.au
LOS ANGELES — Hannah Green didn't let an equipment oversight spoil her opening round at the Women's PGA Championship, shooting a bogey-free 68 for a one-shot lead on Thursday.
Australia's Green had a hard time keeping warm and dry because she forgot to put rain gear or towels in her bag on a day when bad weather made for some difficult playing conditions at the Hazeltine National golf course.
"I only brought one jacket and I was freezing cold," she said. "My caddy and I both really weren't prepared for the rain.
"I thought it was going to come much later in the day after nine holes.
Luckily there was a staff member from the course coming out with towels, otherwise I don't know if I would have been able to keep hold of the club."
But Green fought the elements and finished with a slim lead over runner-ups Mel Reid of England and South Korea's Kim Hyo-joo on a day when just 16 players broke par in Chaska, Minnesota. It was also not a good day for the host Americans as only one finished in the top 15.
Green needed just 23 putts on Thursday and her best shot came on the par-five seventh when she holed a bunker shot for a birdie.
"I don't think I ever had a tap-in putt for my par putts when I missed the green," said Green, who is in her second year of the LPGA Tour. "Nearly every hole was a six-footer. I made all of them."
Green's best previous finish at a major was a tie for 16th at last year's ANA Inspiration.
Reid and Kim both had just one bogey on their cards for a three-under 69. Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, Lin Xiyu of China and defending champion Park Sung-hyun are part of a group of a half dozen at 70. — AFP