A pair of bogeys down the last three holes thwarted Yealimi Noh’s chances of joining a short list of Monday-qualifiers to win on the LPGA.
Noh held a three-stroke lead with four to play, but couldn’t keep the mistakes at bay at the Cambia Portland Classic.
Hannah Green, the breakthrough, wire-to-wire winner of the KPMG Women’s PGA earlier this summer, was prepared to capitalize. The Aussie drained a birdie on the 17th hole to pull into a tie with 18-year-old Noh. She then knocked in a testy par putt on the 72nd hole to become the fifth player to win multiple titles on LPGA this season.
The steady Green closed with a 67 to finish at 21-under 267. Noh finished one back.
“I knew that I had to stay patient,” said Green.
LEADERBOARD: Cambia Portland Classic
Noh held a three-stroke lead over Green coming into the final round. She carded a 4-under 68 on Monday to earn one of two spots in the field and then proceeded to set a 54-hole scoring record in the main event. Only two players have gone on to win on the LPGA after Monday-qualifying: Brooke Henderson (2015 Cambia Portland LPGA Classic) and Laurel Kean (2000 State Farm LPGA Classic).
A victory in Portland would’ve given Noh an LPGA card. She briefly choked back her emotions while taking to Golf Channel immediately after the round.
“It’s hard,” said Noh, who turned professional in January without any kind of tour status whatsoever. “I tried my best today.”
Green, 22, lit up Columbia Edgewater Country Club in the first two rounds, shooting 64-63. A third-round 73, however, left her chasing Sunday afternoon.
“I just really needed to stay positive,” said Green, who chatted often with her caddie. “I probably was in my own head yesterday and I think it probably showed, even to the viewers.”
Noh is signed up for the second stage of LPGA Q-School, which takes place Oct. 12-17 in Venice, Fla.
She earned a paycheck of $119,765 in Portland, bringing her total money earned on the LPGA this season to $201,441. To earn her card as a non-member via the money list, she’d have to finish the equivalent of 40th. Prior to the list being updated through Portland, No. 40 is at $376,754.
To skip to the final stage of qualifying school, or Q-Series, Noh would need to be ranked in the top 75. She was No. 297 heading into Portland.
Noh contended in her first LPGA appearance as a professional last July, ultimately tying for sixth.
“I’m really excited for next year,” she said. “Hopefully I can win next year.”