Hannah Green showed she’s ready to take another step to the elite level of the women’s game with her victory Sunday at the Cambia Portland Classic.
Yealimi Noh showed as an 18-year-old non-member of the LPGA that she may already be equipped to play the tour, if not quite ready to win.
Three shots ahead of Green with four holes to go, Noh couldn’t close out the victory, losing at the last when Green holed a 7-foot putt to save par.
“To hole that putt is really awesome,” Green said.
Noh’s 15-foot putt for par at the last drifted right, leaving Green with her second LPGA title this season.
Green, 22, broke through to claim the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in June as her first tour title.
“I tried my best,” Noh said. “Hannah just played really solid, really great . . . She stayed really strong at the end.”
Noh, an American from Concord, Calif., won the Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, the U.S. Girls’ Junior and the Canadian Women’s Amateur in consecutive weeks last year. She turned down a scholarship offer to UCLA at the start of this year and turned pro. As a 17-year-old with no status on the LPGA or Symetra tours, she played mini-tours and tried to Monday qualify for LPGA events. She played her way into the Thornberry Classic in July, tying for sixth in her LPGA debut as a professional, three weeks before turning 18.
A victory Sunday would have given Noh the chance to immediately claim LPGA membership, but she bogeyed two of the last four holes while Green birdied two of the last four.
“It sucks,” Noh said of the failing to close. “But, hopefully, I'll come back next year, after Q-School this year, and play on the tour next year.”
Noh is signed up for second stage of LPGA Q-School this summer.