The title defence that COVID-19 couldn’t stop

Even the defending PGA champion has to dine alone in a COVID-19 affected world and after soaking up the lively frat house atmosphere of her accommodations last year en route to her major breakthrough Aussie Hannah Green is feeling the difference this time.

Green’s parents were relieved when her travel plans to the coronavirus-riddled US were scuppered earlier this year as flights were cancelled and her home state of Western Australia went in to lockdown.

But the Greg Norman medallist was never going to miss the opportunity to defend her title and while the world is a different place, from where she can stay to who she can hang out with, Green hopes her golf can still be as good.

“It‘s been a few adjustments, not just with the golf, with the mental side of things with golf,” Green said after arriving at Aronimink Golf Club is in Pennsylvania.

“It’s kind of strange being in a hotel versus last year being in a house full of seven people.

“I think my parents were really concerned when I still had my flight booked in March to go to Phoenix because the Tour was still not sure what was happening.

“Sure enough, the day before I was due to fly, everything got postponed and cancelled. I think my parents had a huge relief about that and kind of even myself. I just felt like I wanted to go play.

“I guess it’s a year where I get to go defend championships, and meant to be one of the best starts to the decade really, but a little different this year.”

A self-confessed homebody, Green, 23, is forever battling life on the road, all the while trying to play her best. It’s a tougher battle this year, knowing how long she will have to be away.

Honoured to be the defending champion @kpmgwomenspga 😊 Hoping for some easier pars this week at Aronimink 😂💪 pic.twitter.com/QCJCbCgoH0

But she learned a lot about her mental strength by winning twice last year, including the PGA.

“I didn‘t really think I was capable to go wire-to-wire in an event, let alone a major championship,” Green said

“Just hanging in there, and even though I was kind of crashing a little bit on the back nine, at the start of the back nine in the last round, I was trying to give myself as much positive thoughts as possible and worked really well.

And winning this week could get her home earlier too.

“I won’t be back home until maybe after Christmas, which is probably the longest I’ve ever been away from home, so I’m hoping that I can have a win in the next few events and just book any ticket back,” she said.

“Yeah, I’m such a homebody, so that’s probably going to be the biggest struggle of the year, so hopefully I can get home earlier than Christmas.

Hannah Green was mobbed by her Aussie compatriots, including Karrie Webb (pink shirt) of after winning the PGA Championship last year Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP ==Source:AFP

“Mum and dad are definitely my biggest fans, even my boyfriend and pretty much all my friends and family, they definitely always send me messages of good luck, and I’ve had a few more than normal probably for this week. Everyone knows it’s a big week for me.

“But yeah, I’m just super excited. It’s obviously a great position to be in, defending a title, so I hope that I can, yeah, have this opportunity more often.”

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