Melanie Green wins Women’s Amateur on the last in thrilling final

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Melanie Green (Photo by Oisin Keniry/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

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Melanie Green from the United States of America enjoyed a dream debut at The 121st Women’s Amateur Championship to claim a two-hole victory over Scotland’s Lorna McClymont after an epic Final at Portmarnock.

The 22-year-old continued her new love for links golf after fighting back from four down after eight holes to win the see-saw 36-hole contest on a rain-soaked day in Ireland.

McClymont, 23, had edged one-hole ahead with three to play but Green showed remarkable resilience to again bounce back and sealed success with a 22-feet birdie putt on the final hole.

Green becomes the first American to win the prestigious title since Kelli Kuehne in 1996 at Royal Liverpool.

“It was an incredible match in the weather and Lorna is an incredible player. There is so much history to this Championship and it’s amazing to win it. I seem to find a way to do better in harder conditions sometimes.

“Every girl that I faced this week was incredible. We all played some really, really solid golf. I got some lucky bounces and breaks that helped in my favour.”

The University of South Florida graduate has now secured places in the fields for the Amundi Evian Championship and AIG Women’s Open later this summer and the Chevron Championship and US Women’s Open in 2025 by virtue of her win. Green, ranked 53rd on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®), will also, by tradition, receive an invitation to compete in next year’s Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

“I’m super excited. Gosh, I don’t even really know when to think about it. I’m just kind of enjoying this at the moment and I’m sure I’ll get really excited about it.”

On playing in Ireland she added: “I like the fact you have to aim 30 yards either way for the ball to go straight on the wind. It’s kind of cool. It’s interesting golf and it’s been an awesome experience. Ireland has been very good to me.”

Green, who will also be invited to play in an event on the Ladies’ European Tour, joins a list of Women’s Amateur Champions that includes Babe Zaharias, Catriona Matthew, Carlota Ciganda, Anna Nordqvist, Georgia Hall, Céline Boutier and Leona Maguire.

In the tough conditions, Milngavie’s McClymont – who had her mum, Gail, caddying for her – settled the quickest and Green’s bogey at the 3rd gave the Scot the early lead. The American was then unable to escape from thick rough at the 5th and was forced to concede the hole. Green, who chose not to have a caddie, continued to struggle in the weather and found herself three down at the 6th following a first birdie in the Final from McClymont. Green’s bogey at the 8th saw her four down and in real trouble before mounting a stirring comeback.

A birdie at the 9th after an excellent approach put a real spring in Green’s step and she suddenly warmed to the task despite the incessant rain. As Green steadied, University of Stirling scholar McClymont bogeyed four holes in a row from the 11th and lost three of them as the Final suddenly returned to all square after 14. McClymont found trouble at 16 allowing Green to complete her recovery and lead for the first time, a one-up advantage she held to the lunchtime break.

Green, a member of the USA team for next week’s Arnold Palmer Cup at Lahinch, moved two-up when her opponent’s tee shot found a penalty area at the 21st. They exchanged the next two holes before McClymont’s bogey at the par-5 24th dropped her to three down.

McClymont, 131st on WAGR® and a two-time R&A Student Tour Series Order of Merit winner, rallied with a winning par at the short 25th and only her second birdie of the day at the 28th to claw back to only one down once more. Green had chances to extend the lead, notably missing a short putt at the par-5 31st, before the Scot pulled all square after a superb approach to five feet at the 32nd.

McClymont rolled in at the next from 15 feet for back-to-back birdies to go ahead only for Green to immediately reply with her birdie at the long 34th as the crowds were treated to a great finish. As the sun finally emerged, McClymont bogeyed the 35th before Green’s decisive birdie.

A world class field of 144 players competed over the famous links north of Dublin from the start of the week, representing 35 countries including no fewer than 21 players ranked inside the top-50 on the WAGR® and four in the top ten.

Green also added her name to a list of illustrious winners who have triumphed at Portmarnock in various championships, including Arnold Palmer, Ben Crenshaw, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and José María Olazábal.

The Women’s Amateur Championship has only been played at Portmarnock on one previous occasion, 93 years ago in 1931, with the venue last hosting The Amateur Championship in 2019 when home player James Sugrue emerged victorious.

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