In 2020, Jaye Marie Green said she asked for what ‘felt like 100 tickets to the Gainbridge LPGA.’ Boca Rio Golf Club, settled right in her stomping grounds, made the local feel cool, calm and collected as she competed close to home. Fast forward to 2022, and Green feels the exact same way.
“Seeing so many people out and knowing every face, I'm like, ‘Oh my, I know almost everyone here.’ It's really special, and it's different playing in front of a home crowd,” said Green. “It has its advantages and disadvantages. It's really cool.”
Her familiarity with the host course helped Green captured a tied for 19th finish two years ago, her only top-20 result of the pandemic-shortened season.
The tournament moved to Lake Nona Golf & Country Club for 2021 but has made its hearty return to its original home this year. Green is ecstatic, especially with her newfound mindset focused on putting and setting attainable goals. She has also been practicing with close friends Marina Alex, Beth Daniel and Karrie Webb, who is making her first start on Tour since the 2020 Pelican Women’s Championship and continues to have memorable moments when she steps on the course.
“We're three down with three to go, and classic Karrie Webb holes out from about 100 yards [on No. 16 at Boca Rio Golf Club] to close us out, that was great,” said Green. “Like, what else do you expect from a Hall of Famer?”
In 2021, Green recorded two top-10 finishes, including a season-best result of a tie for seventh at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. This week, she continues the partnership with caddie Jack Clarke from last year, who has an interesting connection to the Boca Raton stop. Clarke’s father caddied for 2020 champion Madelene Sagstrom, Jack’s significant other, when she won and Green said Clarke has been a wonderful addition to her team.
“Yep, my caddie, or should I say, which way is the better way? Madelene Sagstrom's boyfriend is my caddie, or my caddie is Madelene Sagstrom's boyfriend?” joked Green. “No one is going to replace my brother [and former caddie], but I feel like I have such a good caddie-work relationship where I feel free, and he was really great in those times where he could tell I missed my brother or got lonely on the road. Because I've never traveled by myself until last year. He has been great, and our relationship is awesome. I feel very lucky and blessed that I found Jack so quick.”