HSBC Women’s World Championship – Final Round

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Like they say, it really is Asia’s major” – said 2024 champion Hannah Green

Major champion Hannah Green birdied the final three holes to win her first HSBC Women’s World Championship by a single shot from Celine Boutier.

            On how special this win is…

“I’ve always loved coming to Singapore. I almost won the championship in 2021 when I was playing it for the first time. I remembered I three-putted 17 and then three-putt again on 18 to lose. It feels great to have this trophy in my hands now.”

On this event being one of her favourite stops on tour…

“Like they say, it really is Asia’s Major! Sentosa do a great job preparing the course, HSBC hosting and making sure the players have everything they need, it makes a big difference. It makes us want to return to the event even more and make sure that we are in the Top 60 and be able to come back again.”

On being aware of the other scores…

“It’s kind of hard not to see the leaderboards on this golf course when they are bright red and as big as they are, it’s hard not to see them. And sometimes they are actually the line that you want to take into the greens. I usually look at leaderboards anyway. I’m not too concerned. I’d like to know myself. I don’t know if it dictated my game plan as such but I knew on the greens I needed to be aggressive and make sure I got the putt past the hole versus leaving them short.”

France’s Celine Boutier carded a bogey free 67 to finish in solo second place.

On her final round…                                                         

“I think I played a lot better than yesterday which was really positive. I feel like I made some putts and I gave myself a lot of chances. So I’m very satisfied with my round and it was great to even have a thought of making it a playoff

            On keeping an eye on the leaderboard…

“I wasn’t really paying too much attention to be honest. I was honestly trying to focus on my game. I knew it was going to be a long shot. I was two shots back. So I was focused on trying to get myself into positions and trying to make a run for it.”

Japan’s Yuna Nishimura catapulted up the leaderboard from T17 to T3 after carding a bogey free 6-under 66, the low round of the day.

On having her fans out here in Singapore…

“All four days they come here to support me, almost 50 of them and it means a lot to me.”

On the week…

“I’m extremely happy to be here in Singapore.  I didn’t make it here last year and I’m just so happy I played well this early in the season, I feel like I can make it better throughout the year.”

Canadian Brooke Henderson finished in T3 after a final round 68.

On her third top 10 finish of 2024…

“It’s exciting to come out of the gate pretty strong. I love Top 10’s and I’m always trying to get a bunch. Last year didn’t get a whole lot, so this year trying to make up for it.

It’s nice to get three pretty quickly to start the season and there’s lots of golf left to be played. I feel like my game is right there. Just need a couple breaks, and I’ll see what happens.”

Mi Hyang Lee, who hasn’t won on the LPGA since 2017, had a final round 67 to join Nishimura, Henderson and Nasa Hatoka on T3

On her return to form…

“Yeah, because I have really tough golf last few years, and then was really good come back last year, as well. And then it was a good start to Drive on, actually, for me, and it was super windy there but I had a really good shot there. I had a lot of confidence from there, too, and it was great last round in Thailand, as well. So I think it was good golfing now.”

Green stars on 18th Green

Australia’s Hannah Green broke into yet another smile way before her lengthy putt at the 18th collapsed in the cup. The ball still had a twist and turn ahead, but the 27-year-old just knew she was on the point of winning Asia’s major or the HSBC Women’s World Championship. Having started the event with a lacklustre 74, she had followed up with a trio of 67s to finish at 13 under par to Celine Boutier’s 12 under. 

In January, the champagne would have been flowing at Green’s wedding to Jarryd Felton who is currently playing in the Webex Players Series, and it was flowing again as her Aussie friends soaked her from hat to toe.

She had spoken to her coach after the third round and his advice had focussed on how she should aim for a run of early birdies. She failed to oblige on that score and, when it came to the turn, she was precariously placed in a share of the lead with three others. As it turned out, all she had done was to save those birdies till the end, making three in a row  from the 16th.”I knew,” she said, “that I needed to at least birdie the last to win by one. So as soon as that putt went in, I was like, “Oh my God, I’ve won.” 

It could so easily have been her second victory in the championship. Back in ’21, she was poised to win when she had three-putt greens at each of the 17th and 18th – something which would have hurt even more had she not won the KPMG LPGA, a major, and the Cambia Portland Classic two years earlier.

Celine Boutier, who was two shots behind Ayaka Furue going into the final round, had been warming up on the putting green in the hope of a play-off when she heard the celebratory rumpus on the home green.  “I was just trying to do something because I was kind of nervous and sitting around watching wasn’t really helping,” she said. Certainly, she was not overly worried about her putting when she had signed off by making a teasing 5-footer to stay in with a chance.

Even if it was not one more win for the French player, you doubt she will ever forget a week in which she presented her father with a second-round 64 on his birthday. Furue, on the other hand, had to be upset when she slipped from first to a share of eighth place.

Green was not the first Australian to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship. Karrie Webb won in 2011, while it was in 2015 that this winner of seven majors and 56 professional tournaments in all presented Hannah with a Karrie Webb scholarship. In accord with the rules of amateur status, the money that came with it was to cover her expenses in the amateur game.

Yet to Hannah, nothing meant more than getting to know Karrie, the person and the golfer: “She would have me to stay and I would be able to watch her from behind the ropes and learn from everything she did.”

Asked if, as a four-time winner, she had advice to offer to others, Hannah began by saying, “you just have to enjoy the sport…. Even though I’ve now had four wins on the LPGA and won 11 world-wide, I’ve known many hard moments….You have to take the highs when the come because they don’t always come. Golf can be a learning sport.”

As much as anything, she treasured having so many Australian friends on tour. “It’s nice that we get to travel together and have dinner together.”  Her point, here, was that they were friendly enough to be pleased for each other in the event of a win.

How obvious that was as Green collected her trophy.

Credit: IMG.COM

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