The special chase driving Aussie No.1

Mizuho Americas Open - Final Round
Hannah Green is now No.5 in the world. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Having a standout player to chase regularly has helped Hannah Green raise the bar this year but it’s the memories of another Australian champion fuelling a major fire for the new world number five ahead of next week’s US Open.

Green went head-to-head with the hottest golfer on the planet, world No.1 Nelly Korda, in New Jersey last weekend and only a single shot, an errant final hole drive, stood between her and the American who secured a staggering sixth win in her past seven events.

Between them the dynamic pair have won eight events on the LPGA Tour this year, with Green winning twice, the only multiple event winners in 2024.

Mizuho Americas Open - Final Round
Nelly Korda and Hannah Green embrace on the 18th green in New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

While Korda has netted more than $4 million in her golden run, Green has climbed the rankings, joining to the top 10 for the first time ever after her second win in Los Angeles and then leaping to a new career-high after her runner-up finish.

Minjee Lee is the only other Australian to feature in the top-10 for the best part of seven years, and she displaced legendary Karrie Webb as the highest ranked Aussie way back in 2015.

But it’s Webb’s legacy which is front of mind for Green as she leads the Australian contingent at next week’s US Open at Lancaster Golf Club in Pennsylvania having been inspired by watching the golfing great from “outside the ropes” in the 2015 Open at the same venue.

Green said she was “super excited” for the her upcoming which for her now also includes the Paris Olympics, where she will wear the green and gold for the second time after pairing up with good friend Minjee Lee in Tokyo, which they will do again.

“Yeah, I’m super excited for the next stretch of events. You know, to go back to somewhere that I haven’t actually played but been outside the ropes kind of was motivated, and that was the thing that really wanted me be -- become a professional golfer, watching Karrie there,” Green said.

“So I’m really excited for Lancaster. You know, similar in the sense of the grass type and the conditions. Hopefully a little warmer than what we had in the first couple days (in New Jersey).

“But yeah, I’m super excited for the next stretch of events. I’m ready for a week off also to workout and get ready.”

Despite her multiple wins and close finish with Korda last weekend, Green said she didn’t feel like a “dominant” player.

But the way Korda managed to challenge, even when not playing her best, has helped Green add a new dimension to her own game.

“Not really sure I would’ve said it at the start of the year that I would be so dominant. I have said that in other interviews, that I was surprised that I’ve already won twice,” she said.

“I think that’s just because I now have won five times in my career and took me a while to get from two to three. Now three and four -- sorry, four and five have come so quickly. I felt like I’ve never really played that bad. I’ve just -- it’s just getting better at the bad -- when you have those bad rounds.

“I think that’s probably what Nelly is experiencing, too. Obviously when she’s hot she’s always able to win tournaments, but when she’s not playing so well she’s still up there. “That’s something that I’ve tried to work on and maybe not be as aggressive with certain shots and maybe just play to the middle of the green or whatever it may be.

“Yeah, it’s pretty cool to have Nelly paving the way and all of us trying to chase her.”