Green sweeps past Noh on final LPGA hole
Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, could be an interesting day in women's golf.
It'll be the next Monday qualifier for the LPGA Cambia Portland Classic, and based on recent history, it might bear watching almost as much as the 72-hole tournament.
In 2015, Brooke Henderson earned a spot in the tourney on Monday, then won the event six days later.
This year, 18-year-old Yealimi Noh got into the tourney as a Monday co-medalist, then almost won.
Only a late surge by 22-year-old Hannah Green of Australia stopped Noh's impressive attempt at a breakthrough title in her rookie pro season.
Noh, from Concord, California, led Green by three strokes going into Sunday's final round at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, and Noh had the same edge with four holes to go.
But Green birdied the 15th and 17th holes, and Noh bogeyed the 16th, putting them in a tie as they walked to the 18th tee. Both missed the green on the closing par-4, but Green was able to get up and down, sinking a five-foot putt for the winning par.
It was the second victory on tour for her — and it backed up her major title, which came in June in the Women's PGA Championship in Minnesota.
"To hole that putt ... it's really awesome," Green said, after claiming the $195,000 winner's check from the $1.3 million purse.
Noh figures to be back (the 2020 Cambia will be played Sept. 3-6), but first she will have to go through the end-of-the-year qualifying stages. She's already showed she has the game to not only play with the best but also to threaten to win.
"I told her, 'This won't be the last time you're in this position,'" Green said.
Green's total of 21-under 267 tied the tourney's 72-hole record set by Henderson in 2015.
Noh was one shot back.
"It sucks," Noh said. "It's hard. I tried my best. Hannah played really solid, really great. It was fun to watch her play. She stayed really strong."
Brittany Altomare, who will play next week for the U.S. in the Solheim Cup matches against Europe in Scotland, took third at 271. Henderson and Nasa Hataoka of Japan shared fourth at 269.
The co-medalist in this year's Monday qualifier did well, too, and she became an attraction with the gallery as well.
Ellie Slama, a junior at Oregon State, matched Noh's 68 on Monday, then got off to a roaring start with rounds of 68-69.
She not only made the cut, she also teed off on Saturday tied on the scoreboard with and paired with the No. 1-ranked womens golfer in the world, Jin Young Ko.
And the two were even at 7-under through 16 holes (52 overall), before Slama finished that round with two bogeys.
Undaunted, Slama returned Sunday in a twosome with 2014 Cambia Portland Classic winner Austin Ernst, and made a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to tie for 57th at 3-under 285.
"It was a great experience this week," Slama said. "I'm really glad I got to do it. I got to meet a lot of new people.
"I got to see what it's like to be a professional golfer for a week, pretty much, and that's pretty cool. It's a lot. It would be a lot of work doing that every single week. I definitely would need to work harder on my game and to stay in shape for countless travel days. But it's fun being out here, and I enjoyed it."
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