Hannah Green became the 26th player whose first major championship victory came in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, third in four years. The complete list: Hannah Green/2019, Danielle Kang/2017, Brooke Henderson/2016, Shanshan Feng/2012, Anna Nordqvist/2009, Yani Tseng/2008, Suzann Pettersen/2007, Se Ri Pak /1998, Chris Johnson/1997, Kelly Robbins/1995, Meg Mallon/1991, Beth Daniel/1990, Sherri Turner/1988, Patty Sheehan/1983, Sally Little/1980, Nancy Lopez/1978, Chako Higuchi/1977, Betty Burfeindt/1976, Shirley Englehorn/1970, Sandra Post/1968, Gloria Ehret/1966, Sandra Haynie/1962, Judy Kimball/1962, Mickey Wright/1958, Marlene Hagge/1956 and Beverly Hanson/1955.
FIRST WINS FIRST
The storyline of the day at Hazeltine is that Hannah Green won her first major championship, but her 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship victory also doubled as her first win on the LPGA Tour. Green is now one of nine players to achieve these two “firsts” at this Championship: Hannah Green/2019, Danielle Kang/2017, Shanshan Feng/2012, Anna Nordqvist/2009, Yani Tseng/2008, Se Ri Pak/1998, Sherri Turner/1988, Sandra Post/1968 and Gloria Ehret/1966.
AUSSIE RULES AT THE KPMG WOMEN’S PGA FOR THE THIRD TIME
With her victory at Hazeltine, Hannah Green became the third Australian to have her name etched into the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship Trophy. Karrie Webb (2001) and Jan Stephenson (1982) blazed the trail that Green followed Sunday at Hazeltine. These three players are also the only Australians to win an LPGA major championship, with Webb winning seven times and Stephenson three.
Hannah Green became only the third player to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship wire-to-wire (no ties), joining Yani Tseng (2011) and Se Ri Pak (1998). Green’s lead after every round this week at Hazeltine: Thursday (one shot), Friday (three shots), Saturday (one shot), Sunday (one shot).
THE TREND CONTINUES
With Hannah Green’s victory today at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, an international player claimed this major Championship for the 17th time in 19 years dating to 2001. The two Americans to win during this nearly 2-decade span were Danielle Kang (2017, Kemper Lakes Golf Club) and Cristie Kerr (2010 LPGA Championship, Locust Hill Country Club).
DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN
For the second time in three years, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship defending champion put up a valiant fight, only to finish runner-up by one stroke. Sung Hyun Park closed with a 4-under 68 on Sunday, her best effort of the Championship, to finish one shot back of Hannah Green. Two years ago, at Kemper Lakes, 2016 Champion Brooke Henderson made a serious bid for back-to-back Championships but finished a shot back of Danielle Kang.
S.H. PARK LIVES UNDER PAR
The only player in the field to record four sub-par rounds this week at par-72 Hazeltine was Sung Hyun Park (70-71-71-68), who finished runner-up, one shot back of Hannah Green.
Mel Reid nearly completed the largest come-from-behind victory in KPMG Women’s PGA Championship history. Trailing 54-hole leader Hannah Green by nine strokes heading into Sunday’s final round, Reid posted her best round of the year, a six-under 66. The record (seven strokes) was set in 1983 by Patty Sheehan, who posted a final-round 66 to edge Sandra Haynie and capture the first of her five career major championships.
Reid finished in a tie for third, which surpassed her previous best finish of T-9 in the 2015 AIG Women’s British Open. Prior to this week, her best finish in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship occurred last year at Kemper Lakes (T-60).
PROGRESS FOR NELLY
Nelly Korda played well on Sunday with a one-under-par 71. She finished with a four-day total of 6-under-par 282 to tie for third with Mel Reid. In doing so, Korda registered her best finish in a major championship and her second career top-10 in a major (T-10, 2018 U.S. Women’s Open).
If Nasa Hataoka’s 65 on Sunday, which was the low round of the Championship, seemed eerily familiar, it’s because she carded a final-round 64 in last year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes. Her 64 last year established a Championship record for lowest fourth-round score and earned a Hataoka a spot in a three-player playoff (she ultimately bowed out after the first hole).