LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Hannah Green has both momentum and luck on her side as she extended her lead at the Women’s PGA Championship to three shots on Friday.
The 22-year-old Aussie maintained her momentum from a superb opening round in which she needed just 23 putts. On Friday she made 27 putts en route to a three-under 69 and a seven-under 137 total.
Two-time major winner Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand is second after shooting two-under 70 at the Hazeltine National golf course in Chaska, Minnesota.
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, who shot 70, and defending champion Park Sung-hyun, who shot 71, are tied for third at 141.
Nelly Korda is at 142 with Angel Yin while Lizette Salas, Moriya Jutanugarn, Lin Xiyu, Kang Ji-min, Caroline Hedwall, Nuria Iturrioz, Kim Hyo-joo, Pernilla Lindberg and Lexi Thompson are at 143.
Green also holed a shot for the second straight day, this time after putting her second shot on the par-four 12th in the water. After a penalty drop, her ball ended up tucked down in the rough. But she gouged it out with a wedge, and it rolled straight in for a par save.
“When it went in, I just laughed,” she said of the lucky break. “I guess with the hole-out on seven yesterday and the hole-out today, it’s really going my way.”
Green’s best previous finish at a major was a tie for 16th at last year’s ANA Inspiration.
Green started her round with a bogey on the first hole — the lone blemish on her scorecard – but birdied Nos. 2, 6, 8 and 14.
American Michelle Wie returned to competition for the first time in two months and stumbled to the finish for the second straight day with a shocking 10-over 82.
Wie, who is coming off wrist surgery, had one of the worst performances of her career finishing in 147th place with a 22-over 166 score.