Top 10 female amateurs: No. 9 Jaye Marie Green

Jaye Marie Green hits her shot at No. 17 during the semifinals at the 112th U. S. Women's Amateur Championship.

Jaye Marie Green hits her shot at No. 17 during the semifinals at the 112th U. S. Women's Amateur Championship.

The amateur season roared in with talk of the Curtis Cup in Scotland, and died down with the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship in Turkey, which made patriotism a big part of 2012. But in terms of women’s amateur golf, 2012 also was the year of the Kiwi (read: Lydia Ko) and the last summer of the Jutanugarn sisters.

Golfweek will spend 10 days counting down the top amateur players of the past year. Who will be No. 1? Who else will make the list? Check back each day. Find the entire series here.

• • •

No. 9: Jaye Marie Green

R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking: 6

2012 in review: Runner-up at U.S. Women’s Am; quarterfinalist at the North & South Women’s Amateur; runner-up at the Ione D. Jones/Doherty Women’s Amateur; qualified for U.S Women’s Open; made the cut at the Kraft Nabisco Championship; won AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions

The South Florida native generally makes early-year headlines on the Florida Orange Blossom Circuit, and began 2012 with a fifth-place finish at the South Atlantic Amateur, where she was attempting to defend her 2011 title. If the U.S. Golf Association had broken its all-college theme for this year’s Curtis Cup squad, Green would have been a good addition to that team.

Green, 18, split time between junior and amateur tournaments in 2012. Your correspondent remembers listening intently at the U.S. Women’s Amateur as Green described quite technically how her dad (and frequent caddie) Donnie had carefully adjusted a new set of irons the pair had determined to be just a couple degrees too flat. That, she explained, can have a huge effect on your play. Not too many weeks earlier, Green had been one of the first junior players to run screaming onto Bay Hill’s 18th green in celebration of the East Team retaining the Wyndham Cup. Green was the one in the Rainbow Bright socks.

Green’s story in 2012 is one of growth. She was both a kid enjoying the game and a focused competitor. The shining moment of her summer arguably was the final match against World No. 1 amateur Lydia Ko at the Women’s Am. Green lost to Ko, 3 and 1, but it truly was championship-caliber golf.

Previously committed to play college golf for Florida, Green announced plans this year for a different path. She’ll play her first event as a professional, a Suncoast Ladies Series event, Jan. 7-9 and then will take up residence on the Symetra Tour. She didn’t make it to the final stage of Q-School to try for an LPGA card.

Green has a bright future ahead, but women’s amateur golf could have benefited from a few more years with her. She’s the sort of colorful player who makes the amateur side of golf so rich.

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