Birdie blitz puts Green in LPGA title mix
Hannah Green produced a birdie blitz for being within a shot of the lead after the first round of the Portland Classic of the LPGA Tour.
Green scored eight birdies on a 15-hole course en route to a six-under-par 66 start at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Oregan.
The Australian follows only Ayako Uehara, who started on Thursday with a score of under 65.
Green would have led the Japanese by two strokes if he hadn’t broken the last hole and Uehara hadn’t finished with back-to-back birdies.
Like Green, Uehara had eight fledglings but only recorded one bogeyman.
World number 2 Nelly Korda started with a five under 67 to equalize for third place with fellow American Caroline Inglis and Japanese Ayaka Furue and Hinako Shibuno.
Uehara started and finished his round well, scoring five birdies in the first nine and three more in the last four holes.
The 38-year-old has won three times in Japan but is aiming for her maiden LPGA Tour win and said being ahead would not affect how she approached round two.
“I’ll play my game and then focus one by one,” Uehara said.
Green, a big winner and Portland champion in 2019, placed eight birds between her two bogeys on the third and 18th holes. You’ve been bird watching three of the four par-5s on the course and both par-3s on the rear nine.
“Unfortunately, I sent the last one on tilt, but I don’t want to dwell on that,” said Green. “I think I didn’t get a good shot, but I was also unlucky where I ended up.
“I only lost two greens today, so I can’t be too depressed. Yes, keep giving me a chance and, yes, I hope to keep punching those putts.
Ranked n. 17 in the world, Green is looking for his first LPGA win since his 2019 victory in Portland. She finished second in April at the DIO Implant LA Open and scored nine under 62 in the second round of the Dana Open earlier this month before finishing 10th.
After missing four months of the season due to a blood clot, Korda is looking for her first win of the year after finishing tied for second twice, including her last start, the Women’s Open CP.
Canada’s Brooke Henderson, winner of the Evian Championship, started with an average of less than 68 years. She was in seventh place with compatriot Alena Sharp, Lilia Vu, Anne van Dam from the Netherlands, Jenny Shin from South Korea and Tiffany Chan from Hong Kong.
Reigning champion and world number 1 Jin Young Ko of South Korea retired earlier this week to rest from a wrist injury.