Until this week, Jaye Marie Green’s biggest professional accolade was perhaps that she is the only person to medal twice at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament, earning the honors in 2013 and 2016. Now sitting in second after 18 holes at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, she is more than up to the challenge of earning her best major finish – and hopefully never having to make a return visit to Q School.
“I love majors because it doesn't make you feel like you have to birdie so many holes,” said Green, who shot a 67 for her first round in the 60s in five trips to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. “It makes you feel like you can be kind of chill and play and let the birdies come to you ... I like more of the grind, where you can make a bogey every now and then and it's okay.”
After turning professional in 2013 following a celebrated amateur career, one that included a runner-up finish to Lydia Ko at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur, Green is still looking for that elusive professional breakthrough. In 106 events since joining the Tour, Green has only been able to crack the top 10 four times, with a best finish of T6 at the 2015 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.
But as anyone who walks inside the ropes knows, golf is as much a mental game as it is physical, and Green knows that her game is right there and ready for that glimpse of success.
“I kind of woke up this morning, and I'm like, I care, but like I really don't care, and that's when I play my best,” said Green, who was able to brush off finding water at No. 7 to still make par and keep her round alive. “When you try so hard -- I learned kind of just to let go, and whatever happens.”