West Australian Hannah Green has once again shown that her game is purpose-built to perform on the game’s grandest stage with a top-15 finish at the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club in California.
The first golf major of the year produced a strong showing from three of Australia’s leading ladies but it was the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA champion who led the way, closing out four strong rounds with her best of the week, a 3-under 69 including a birdie at the 72nd hole to finish tied for 15th.
Making her first start in a major as a professional Gabriela Ruffels also emphasised her bright future to finish one shot back of Green in a tie for 19th while Minjee Lee delivered one of the final day’s best rounds, a 5-under 67, to climb 22 spots and into a tie for 25th.
It would be remiss not to also highlight the performance of New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, who produced one of the greatest final rounds in major championship history – a 10-under 62 – to push Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit all the way to the 72nd hole and finish outright second.
There were two big Sunday moves made by Aussies on the Korn Ferry Tour also with Harrison Endycott and Brett Coletta storming home at the Emerald Coast Classic in Florida.
Starting the final round outside the top 30, Endycott rattled off seven birdies in a 4-under par round of 66 to notch a second top-20 finish in his past three starts, ending the week tied for 17th.
Tied for third at the Club Car Championship a week ago, Coletta also made an average week look significantly stronger with a 20-spot rise courtesy of a final round of 66 consisting of six birdies and two bogeys.
There were encouraging signs too for New South Welshman Brett Drewitt who bounced back from a 4-over 74 in the opening round to post scores of 67-67-68 and a top-30 finish.
It was a tough week for the small group of Aussies at the PGA TOUR’s Valero Texas Open with Cameron Davis the lone Australian to make the cut and Cameron Percy being disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard after a second round of 8-over 80.
Mission Hills Country Club (Dinah Shore Tournament Cse), Rancho Mirage, California
T15 Hannah Green 71-71-70-69—281 $US43,476
T19 Gabriela Ruffels 72-70-69-71—282 $34,340
T25 Minjee Lee 72-70-74-67—283 $28,984
MC Sarah Kemp 70-76—146
MC Katherine Kirk 73-76—149
MC Su Oh 74-76—150
Valero Texas Open
TPC San Antonio (Oaks Cse), San Antonio, Texas
T69 Cameron Davis 71-71-73-76—291 $US15,631
MC Rhein Gibson 76-75—151
DQ Cameron Percy 76-80—156
WD Danny Lee 77-41—128
Korn Ferry Tour
Emerald Coast Classic
Raven GC, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Sandestin, Florida
T17 Harrison Endycott 70-68-70-66—274 $US8,418
T26 Brett Drewitt 74-67-67-68—276 $4,660
T31 Brett Coletta 74-67-70-66—277 $3,930
T31 Ryan Ruffels 74-66-68-69—277 $3,930
T37 Steven Alker 67-74-70-68—279 $3,186
MC Mark Hensby 75-69—144
MC Rod Pampling 71-73—144
MC Curtis Luck 76-70—146
MC Nick Voke 74-73—147
MC Robert Allenby 74-75—149
MC Jamie Arnold 80-76—156