In the final round, and for the second consecutive day, Hannah Green is combined with Thai powerhouse Ariya Jutanugarn at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship 2019. Image: Getty.
Ian Baker-Finch announced himself on the golf world outside of Australia and New Zealand when he led the British Open in 1984 in St Andrews after three days. Wayne Grady, Ian and I shared a house that week and on Saturday night we dared to think that the guy in the bedroom next to ours would win the Open Day the next day. His game was good, he had a putting stroke to die for and he hardly lacked confidence.
Ian was attracted to play the final day with the co-leader Tom Watson, who opened for three in a row. History.
Severiano Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer were in the group ahead. They could play a bit.
Nobody really thought that our man would win, even though he was second in the Australian Open seven months earlier and the winner of the New Zealand Open in Auckland the following week. For us they were a big problem, but it is a bit of a step to play the same golf while the world looks at the best golf course of the game with the best player in the game.
As Watson told Baker-Finch on the first tee: & # 39; If you are not nervous now, you are not human. & # 39;
The critics were right. Ian plunged a pitch into the blazing hole opening and three holes later it was clear that he just had the best seat in the house while Watson and Ballesteros (with Langer playing a supporting role) fighting out one of the big Opens.
Hannah Green leads this week's KPMG Women & # 39; s PGA Championship in Hazeltine, Minnesota by a single shot from Ariya Jutanurgan, the most powerful player in women's golf and the US Open champion of 2018.
It is reasonable to say that Green has about the same chance of winning as Baker-Finch was thirty-five years ago. Yet this week she is sharing a big house with her friend Jarryd Felton (herself a great player), Karrie Webb, Su Oh and Becky Kay and Grace Kim who are there as recipients of Webb & # 39; s scholarship. Making puzzles seems to be the home entertainment of the week. Distractions are good at filling the 19 hours you don't play. It must be 20, but what can you do about the apparent agreement with rounds of five hours?
Just like Grady and I, they all hope that their roommate can play the last 18 holes, since she has just played the opening 54.
The best players somehow learned to learn to play through the painful pressure of the last day and Watson himself had learned it the hard way when he endured blow-outs on both the 1974 and 1975 URS on the last day Had. He learned from those error-filled rounds in the high seventies, just like Baker-Finch from his 79.
Of course, it is more likely that Hannah will not win, but the game is littered with players who have had their first chance to go all the way back to Francis Ouimet during the US Open from 1913 to last week, then, not to mention, Gary Woodland won on Pebble Beach when everyone assumed that Brooks Koepka would run over him.
Jutanurgan plays a women's version of the Kopeka game. It is intimidating, the unusual power comes with a good technique and if she plays well, you wonder how someone can beat her, because playing green closer than the rest of the rest is a big advantage
Unlike Koepka, Jutanurgan has shown some vulnerability under pressure and tomorrow Green will have to survive the first hour (Baker-Finch & # 39; s failure in 1984 but the basis of his success in Birkdale seven Opens later) and the last play well for thirty minutes
It is of course easier said than done, but it is far from impossible.