CHASKA, Minn. — Hannah Green held her nerve and saved par from the bunker with a 5-foot putt on the final hole to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Sunday for her first major championship, and the first by an Australian in 13 years.
Green closed with an even-par 72 at Hazeltine for a one-shot victory over defending champion Sung Hyun Park, whose 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole gave her a 68 and put the pressure on the 22-year-old Australian.
Green pulled a 4-iron into the bunker, blasted out to 5 feet and made the biggest putt of her life.
Among those to celebrate with her was Australia’s most prolific major champion, Karrie Webb, which was meaningful in many ways. Webb was the last Aussie to win an LPGA Tour major in 2006 at the Kraft Nabisco.
“I’m speechless,” Green said through the tears. “I was really nervous playing the last five holes.”
She finished at 9-under 279 and won $577,500.
In only her second full year on the LPGA Tour, Green became the first wire-to-wire winner of this major since Yani Tseng in 2011. She also is the third player in the last five majors to make it her first LPGA Tour victory.
It was hard work, even though she never surrendered the lead on a cloudy day at Hazeltine with some light drops of rain at the end.
Green rolled in a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-5 seventh for a four-shot lead. With the group ahead still waiting to tee off, a 7-year-old girl handed her a blue sheet of paper — a poem she wrote to Green, who had given her a golf ball at the ANA Inspiration this year. Green read the poem and hugged the girl, Lily Kostner, and drilled another tee shot to birdie range.
But as she approached the turn, the nerves began to kick in.
She hit a poor lag putt from 45 feet on the ninth that led to a three-putt bogey. She missed an 8-foot birdie attempt at the 10th, a 5-foot par putt on the 11th, and she came up woefully short on a standard chip from the collar of the rough short of the 12th.
Just like that, her lead was down to one shot, and suddenly a half-dozen players had a chance.
But Green answered her final challenge with the bunker save, and the celebration was on.
“I really didn’t want to play that hole again,” Green said.
Reavie prevails at Travelers: CROMWELL, Conn. — Chez Reavie won the Travelers Championship for his second PGA Tour title and first in 11 years, closing with a 1-under 69 for a four-stroke victory over Keegan Bradley and Zack Sucher. Bradley chipped away and got within a stroke on the par-4 15th when he made a 71⁄2-foot birdie putt after Reavie missed an 11-footer. Reavie put the tournament away on the par-4 17th, making a 14-foot birdie putt, while Bradley made a double bogey.
Pavan takes BMW International: MUNICH — Andrea Pavan beat Matthew Fitzpatrick with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff in the BMW International Open for his second European Tour title.
Kelly wins Tour Champions event in playoff: MADISON, Wis. — Jerry Kelly won his hometown PGA Tour Champions event, beating Retief Goosen with a birdie on the third hole of a playoff in the American Family Insurance Championship.