Jaye Marie Green lives by the word “Blessed” that hangs on a necklace around her neck. She always has a smile on her face. But that smile can sometimes hide some inner turmoil.
With just two top-15 finishes in 2021 heading into the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer, it was sometimes hard to keep her smile. It turned into a full-on grin after Green wrapped her week on the Jersey Shore with a tie for seventh at -7, capped by a season-best 66 on Sunday.
“It's been a lot of up and downs just on and off the golf course,” said Green, who earned her eighth career top-10 finish. “It's hard to play good golf when other things aren't going well. Things in life have been good and I think I that made it easier to play better golf.”
Green had a spectacular front nine on Sunday, making the turn at 6-under off six birdies. She cooled on the back, carding a bogey on No. 10 and making eight pars into the clubhouse. She said she knew right when she got up this morning that it was going to be a good day.
“It was just almost like playing a video game. I was just doing what I wanted to do,” said Green. “I was like, oh, this is fun. Wish it was like this every day.”
Green gave much of the credit to her caddie Jack Clarke, who picked up her bag at the beginning of the season. Until this year, Green had usually worked with her brother Matt or her dad Donnie, so having someone new took some getting used to. As someone who closely relies on her caddie for support, Green truly feels that Clarke’s work – and friendship – is a crucial aspect to today’s success.
“He believes in me, and that really helps. Because I haven't been playing good this year and I know he's probably gotten better offers, but to stick by me (is great),” said Green. “He helps me a lot on and off the golf course. He's become like a really good friend.”