Hannah Green.
Hannah Green has shot into the world's top 10 and has her eyes set on another Olympics. Image by AP PHOTO
  • golf

Green takes Lee’s spot as top Australian women’s golfer

Darren Walton April 30, 2024

Hannah Green has taken a giant stride towards sealing another Olympics spot, surging past Minjee Lee to become Australia’s top-ranked women’s golfer for the first time.

Green’s commanding successful defence of her LA Championship title, her second LPGA Tour win of the year and third inside 12 months, has sent the West Australian from 18th to No.8 in the world.

Her Perth stablemate Lee dropped three positions to ninth in the new standings released in the US on Monday (Tuesday AEST).

Green’s rise not only elevated the former major winner into the top 10 for the first time, a goal she’s been chasing for years, but also almost certainly secures the 27-year-old a berth on Australia’s Games team for Paris 2024.

Green and Lee wore the green and gold in Tokyo and now look shoo-ins to also fly the Australian flag in France in August.

The two highest-ranked women’s and men’s players as of June 17 will earn spots.

Hannah Green and Grace Kim.
 Hannah Green is rewarded for her win in Los Angeles with a drenching from compatriot Grace Kim. Image by AP PHOTO 

While Green remains wary of her talented younger compatriots, the reality is world No.82 Grace Kim – who collapsed in LA at the weekend after enjoying a four-shot halfway lead – or Gabriela Ruffels (83) or Steph Kyriacou (88) would need to win the US Open in early June plus another big event to have any hope of climbing above Green and Lee.

“The Olympics have definitely been on my mind,” Green said while savouring her fifth LPGA Tour win.

“Obviously we still have six or seven weeks until the team is announced, so still a lot that can happen between now and then.

“Now that I’ve had two wins in the season, obviously this jumps me (into) the top 10 in the world and solidifies my spot.

“Grace unfortunately didn’t have weekend she wanted, but I know she’s capable of playing really good golf.

“Gabi Ruffels, Steph Kyriacou, Karis Davidson, they all are obviously striving to be the best they can be.

“I don’t want to assume I’m on the team. Still fighting for the second spot.”

After joining American world No.1 Nelly Korda as only the second player to win multiple LPGA Tour events in 2024, Green says she hopes to continue inspiring Australia’s next generation of golfers.

She reckons getting out on course, rather than loading up balls on driving ranges, is the key to developing a youngster’s game.

“With golf and life, it’s always make sure that you enjoy yourself,” Green said.

“There are some tough times when you play golf. You’re not always in this position I’m in right now with a trophy right next to me.

“Making sure you’re enjoying yourself, not being too hard on yourself, having fun. That makes a big difference if you’re just getting into golf or starting golf.  

“Go play as much golf as possible. Don’t beat balls on the range all day. In golf, you’re not hitting off a perfect surface every time.

“Sometimes even if you hit it perfectly on the range, when you get out there you might not really love the tee shot, whatever it may be. Might not hit it perfect.  

“So going out and playing as much as possible if you can is also a nice thing to do.”