Hannah Green felt the nerves on her second shot in the fairway on 18 at Hazeltine National in Chaska, the 72nd and final hole of the 2019 KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
Consistent bogey-free golf on the first day followed by rounds of 69 and 70 on days two and three, Green, 22, of Perth, Australia, showed on her third shot, from the green-side bunker, why she became the third player in tournament history to win going wire-to-wire.
A chip within five feet of the cup set the stage for a short par-putt, capping an incredible tournament for Green, who entered the week ranked No. 114 in the world.
"I'm pretty much speechless. I was really nervous the last five holes and just really — I made a clutch putt and that was kind of got me through another one. To make the one on the last is really surreal," Green said.
Green won her first LPGA tournament in one of the game's five majors, posting a four-day score of nine-under par, 279. She was even par over the final 18 holes.
A three-stroke advantage into the ninth hole, Green didn't seem to have any challengers. Three bogeys in a four-hole stretch allowed the field back into contention.
Defending champion Sung Hyun Park stormed back, shooting a 68 in the final round, a long birdie putt on 18 adding to the excitement, drawing her within a stroke of Green.
"So there were a lot of putting that didn't go in but I was really glad to make that birdie putt on 18. I wasn't too nervous when the game ended. I think I would like to congratulate Hannah Green," Park said.
An advantage of two strokes after a birdie make of her own on 16, Green hit the fairway on 18 before nerves hit her on the second shot, an iron play into the bunker. Walking onto the 18th green, the gallery applauding her performance, Green couldn't help but smile.
That smile grew even bigger as the final putt fell into the cup. KPMG Women's PGA Champion.
"I felt pretty good about how I was going to hit but definitely coming towards the back-9 — I think missing the putt on eight and nine, that really hurt and probably wasn't in the right head space for that and just making the putt on 16. Obviously I heard Sung made the last one, knew I needed to make par. Didn't want to play that hole again. I'm really happy I made it," Green said.
Green held a one-stroke lead over Ariya Jutanugarn into the final round. Jutanugarn, the former No. 1 player in the world, struggled over the final 18 holes, finishing 10th with a five-over par 77.
20-year-old Nelly Korda remained in contention as well, unable to make the big putts over the final nine holes, tying for third at 282. Mel Reid had a six-birdie round to tie for third at 282 with Nasa Hataoka posting the best round of the tournament on Sunday with a 65.
Green won $577,500 for her tournament victory out of a pot of $3.8 million.
If a member of the 18th green celebration Sunday seemed familiar, it's because she is. Seven-time major championship winner Karrie Webb, a mentor for Green, was in the champion's corner, or house, all week.
Green was the recipient of the Karrie Webb Scholarship — a partnership between Golf Australia and Webb — in 2015 and 2016.
"You know, I've seen this for years. Years ago, I watched her at the amateur in Portland and I could just tell the way she carries herself on the golf course and how she is mentally that she was made to win golf tournaments on the LPGA, made to win Majors," Webb said.
Green stayed in a house with Webb all week, playing a practice round on Wednesday together. Other members of the Webb Scholarship program joined in the bunks as well.
"This morning I spoke to her, we had a huge storm last night and there was a crack of thunder that shook the house and I asked her if she heard it. She didn't hear it. So she's fine today because she slept well last night," Webb said.
Webb was champion of the 2001 Women's PGA Championship in Wilmington, Delaware. The only other Aussie Women's PGA Championship winner was Jan Stephenson in 1982.