The Matilda’s went down for the count, but Australia is on the verge of having another sportswoman to celebrate on the international stage.
Perth native Hannah Green has made it through her first taste of the big stage on the LPGA Tour by holding a lead on the weekend at a major championship.
Playing alongside long-hitting Ariya Jutanugarn, a two-time major champion and former No. 1 in the world, the 22-year-old was anything but intimidated.
Green made it through just fine. She only wishes the one-shot lead could have been a little bigger.
The one blot on her scorecard came when she was on the verge of building a four-shot lead only to see a six-foot birdie putt reject the hole on the 16th.
The putt spun out and two holes later she walked off Hazeltine National with a two-under 70 and a one-shot lead in the Women’s PGA Championship.
Jutanugarn birdied the 17th and Green three-putted from long range on the 18th for a bogey.
“Pretty disappointing to end with a three-putt. That’s my first one all week,” Green said.
“Even the putt on 16, that could have been a big two-shot swing, as well.
“Overall, I think I have to be really happy playing with Ariya for the first time and trying to keep up with her.
“You want to hit it as hard and far as she does.”
Green is at nine-under 207 for her first 54-hole lead in an LPGA Tour event.
Jutanugarn had six birdies in her round of 68, which was slowed by a bogey from the water on the 16th when she tried to drive the green from a forward tee.
Green is staying this week with Karrie Webb, Australia’s most prolific major champion.
Webb missed the cut but has stayed around with two amateurs who won her scholarship program, and she has been telling Green to embrace the moment.
“She just tells me … you need to take it while you can,” Green said.
“And I know, yes, I have thought about the outcome tomorrow come the 18th hole
“I think I just need to keep my cool and just have fun out there and embrace it.
“If it does come to me winning, I want to make sure I remember and have fun.”
While it appears a two-horse race between Green and Jutanugarn, Nelly Korda (69) and Lizette Salas (68) are four shots off the lead in a share of third while Sei Young Kim, who had the low score of the day with a 67, and defending champion Sung Hyun Park (71) are at four under.
Green’s fellow Australian, world No.3 Minjee Lee (71) is well off the pace at three over in a share of 38th while fellow Australian Su Oh (73) is at six over.