An opening-round 2-under par 68 at the inaugural Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging and Konica Minolta was a solid start for Jaye Marie Green, but it didn’t make or break her day.
The Florida native is simply thankful to be competing again after a major accident on May 28.
“During quarantine there wasn’t really much to do, so I got one of those electric bikes because I saw a lot of people in my community with them. It’s a normal bike but with a little throttle and they go close to 30 mph,” said Green, who was raised in Boca Raton but moved to Jupiter earlier this year. “I was going to dinner in the bike lane and then the road was under construction, so there was no bike lane. It was like dotted lines and I was trying to stay as close to the curb as possible.
“I looked to the right, hit the curb which knocked me off balance and I shifted to the left to save myself and almost got hit by a car. Then I flew off the bike, slammed my shoulder, face, knees and ended up fracturing my elbow. Also slammed my head and got a concussion. It was a 10-week recovery.”
Without a doubt, Green believes that angels were looking over her that day. It helped shape a renewed sense of faith for the seven-year LPGA Tour professional.
“What if I did hit the car? I was very blessed and fortunate but the fracture I had in my elbow was not good for golf. The doctors were really worried about what the future held because I couldn’t straighten it past like a 90-degree angle. I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to fully extend it,” Green said. “A couple of months ago is when I started going to [Christ Fellowship] Church and everything really changed for me.
“When I was able to start hitting balls again, I came out with the expectation to win. Of course you care and if you don’t play well it’s going to hurt but it shouldn’t be devastating or make you feel like a terrible person. That’s what golf was doing to me. I told myself that I can’t live this way, making golf No. 1 in life. I moved it a little further down the list to three or four and I’ll always have one [Jesus] and two [family].”
ACE FOR THOMPSON
An 11-time LPGA Tour champion and three-time Solheim Cup Team USA member, Lexi Thompson made the 10th hole-in-one of the 2020 LPGA Tour season as she found the bottom of the cup on No. 3 with a 9-iron from 165 yards.
“Hit a full 9-iron and it was kind of flagged right off the face,” said Thompson, who carded a 1-over par 36 on the front nine which included the ace. “I kind of went off [the reaction from] a guy behind the green and he put his hands up. I couldn’t tell if it went in or not. Even though there was only about 10 or so people that saw it, still a good feeling for me.”
For that ace, CME Group will donate $20,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The 2020 season has now seen 10 aces for a total of $200,000 donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Having two in the last year and [to help in] donating that much money to St. Jude’s Hospital means the world to me,” Thompson said. “It’s not only helping my scorecard, but it is helping the world and these kids. We’re not just athletes who play well in our sport; we want to give back. I think it’s a great idea of what they’re doing.”
Thompson ultimately shot an even-par 70 on the day and is tied for 23rd.