news 1 week ago

Sizzling start lifts Green to LPGA lead


Los Angeles (AFP) -

Jaye Marie Green birdied eight of the first 10 holes on the way to a sensational seven-under par 64 on Saturday and a one-shot third-round lead in the US LPGA's Volunteers of America Classic.

Green, who has fought through some low moments since a disappointing tie for fifth at the US Women's Open in early June, couldn't put a foot wrong in the early going on the Old American Golf Club course at The Colony, Texas.

She birdied her first four holes and after a par at the fifth birdied three more on the trot as she powered to the lead. She followed a par at the ninth with a birdie at the 10th before the magic began to fade.

"I honestly didn't feel like I was doing much different, just the putts were going in," Green said. "Having my brother on the bag kept me calm. We were just, like, let's play smart, give ourselves some good looks, and they were just all going in."

Green goes into Sunday's final round with a one-stroke lead over fellow American Cheyenne Knight, a rookie from Texas who capped her four-under 67 with her fifth birdie of the day at 18 to stand alone in second.

American Brittany Altomare, who shared the overnight lead with Knight and Canadian Alena Sharp, carded a 68 for 201, where she was joined by Katherine Perry (66).

Green said thoughts of a sub-60 round first flitted through her mind at the seventh when she thought "Wow, I've only had one par."

That escalated to "Oh my gosh" when she realized she'd played 10 holes with only two pars but she told herself to "forget about it.

"If it's my time to shoot in the 50s it'll happen," she told herself. "But it didn't. I was happy with how things went."

Three pars from the 11th through the 13th were followed by back-to-back bogeys at 14 and 15.

A long par save at 16 "was big for my soul" said Green, who pulled back a shot with an 18-foot birdie putt at the 17th.

Green, seeking her first LPGA Tour title, has made no secret of the fact that she struggled to get past her final-round failure at the US Women's Open.

She went into Sunday one shot off the lead but had three bogeys on the back nine on the way to a 74 that dropped her into a tie for fifth.

Since that week she has missed six of 11 cuts and finished in the top 25 just once.

"I think about that Open almost every day," she said this week. "That was a tough one for me. People say, 'Oh, great top-five,' but in my heart, I won that thing.

"I learned a lot, just to stay patient. And there's more to life than golf."