Hannah Green has a one-shot lead going into the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and fresh evidence that going after her first LPGA Tour win at a major won’t be easy.
Green three-putted for bogey on the 18th hole at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minn., for a 2-under-par 70, leaving her one shot clear of two-time major champion Ariya Jutanugarn, who had a 68.
Green, who was at 9-under 207 for her first 54-hole lead in an LPGA Tour event, had reason to feel the lead could have been larger.
“Overall, I have to be happy, playing with Ariya for the first time and trying to keep up with her,” Green said.
She and Jutanugarn, who separated from the field, matched scores on seven straight holes until the par-4 16th, where the tees were moved up to entice players to try to drive the green.
Jutanugarn went right, bounced off the side of a hill and into the water. She pitched weakly to about 18 feet and took two putts for bogey. Green played short off the tee and hit wedge into 6 feet for a birdie, that would have given her a four-shot lead. But the putt spun around the cup for the 22-year-old Australian, giving her a par for a three-shot lead.
Jutanugarn followed with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole to restore the margin to two shots, and then Green missed her tee shot to the right into the rough on 18, hit onto the front of the green and three-putted for bogey from long range.
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Just like that, the lead was down to one shot.
Green, a three-time winner on the Symetra Tour in 2017, is in her second full year on the LPGA Tour. Jutanugarn, a 23-year-old Thai and among the most powerful players in the game, already has 10 victories and two majors.
Lizette Salas (68) and Nelly Korda (69) were four shots behind at 5-under 211. Another shot back was Sei Young Kim, who had the low score of the round at 67, and defending champion Sung Hyun Park (71).
PGA Tour: Chez Reavie, who tied for third place last week in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, shot a 7-under 63 and took advantage of second-round leader Zack Sucher’s problems to take a six-stroke lead at 16-under 194 into the final round of the Travelers Championship at Cromwell, Conn.
Sucher had a 71 to drop into a tie for second with Keegan Bradley (69) at 10 under.
Cal alum Collin Morikawa, tied for sixth after 36 holes, tumbled to a tie for 51st after shooting 75.
Other tours: Steve Flesch birdied the final three holes for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at 11-under 133 in the PGA Tour Champions’ American Family Insurance Championship in Madison, Wis. Steve Stricker (67) was one shot back. … Jordan Smith carded a bogey-free 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead at 13-under 203 into the final round of the European Tour’s BMW International Open in Munich.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/golf/article/Hannah-Green-holds-onto-1-shot-lead-at-Women-s-14030866.php.