Hannah Green keeps getting out of tough spots, and it’s taken her to a place she has never been.
Green twice escaped trouble with unlikely par saves, including one shot she holed from off the green, and made four birdies for a 3-under-par 69 that gave her a three-shot lead at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
Green, who was at 7-under 137, has the 36-hole lead in an LPGA Tour event for the first time in her two-year career.
The 22-year-old Australian has made one bogey over 36 holes at Hazeltine National, in Chaska, Minn., one of the strongest tests of the year. Ariya Jutanugarn, a two-time major champion, was one shot back until a series of misplays on the back nine. She had another 70.
“Even when you play this type of golf at just a regular event, you’re pretty proud of yourself, but this week especially,” Green said. “I’ve never put myself in this position in any event, so to be doing it this week at such a great venue definitely shows things are going the right way. I’ve had some luck going my way. I do hope that continues.”
Defending champion Sung Hyun Park (71) and Lydia Ko (70) were four shots behind. Fifteen players remained under par after two rounds, with the cut at 5-over 149.
Photo: Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press
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Michelle Wie not only made it to the tee, she played all 18 holes with a right wrist injury that doesn’t seem to be getting any better. She managed only nine pars and no birdies in her round of 82.
Green thought luck was on her side when she holed a short-sided bunker shot for birdie on the par-5 seventh near the end of her opening round. Friday was even better.
After a missed chance at birdie on the par-5 15th, Green was in trouble again on the 16th hole, the signature hole at Hazeltine. Her shot took a surprising kick to the right, leaving the ball between clumps of grass. She got that up-and-down for par and was on her way.
PGA Tour: Zack Sucher shot a 5-under 65 in the rain and his 11-under 129 total held up in the afternoon sunshine for a two-stroke lead midway through the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn.
Chez Reavie and Keegan Bradley each shot 66 to reach 9-under, while two of the bigger names in the tournament missed the cut at TPC River Highlands.
Jordan Spieth, the 2017 winner, followed an opening 73 with a 69 to finish at 2-over. Two-time champion Phil Mickelson finished at 3-over after a 76.
Briefly: Jerry Kelly shot a 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in his hometown Madison, Wis., at the PGA Tour Champions’ American Family Insurance Championship. … Former champion Martin Kaymer thrilled home fans with a 6-under 66 that gave him a two-shot lead after the second round of the European Tour’s BMW International Open in Munich.
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