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How the LPGA's Hannah Green Played Her Way to a 'Life-Changing' $1 Million Bonus

The pro from Australia plans to buy a house after she played her way to one of the more lucrative, yet under-the-radar prizes on tour, writes Morning Read's Adam Stanley.
LPGA Tour pro Hannah Green won a cool $1 million in the Aon risk-reward challenge.

Hannah Green plans to buy a house with part of her $1 million bonus.

NAPLES, Fla. – Hannah Green will finish well back of the winner at the CME Group Tour Championship, but it’s a week when no one will be feeling bad for the Australian.

Green will walk away from Tiburon Golf Club with a $1 million check as the winner of the Aon Risk Reward Challenge for 2021.

“I haven’t even made that much money over two seasons,” said Green, “so it’s still not quite sunk in yet.”

The Aon Risk Reward Challenge is a season-long competition on both the LPGA and PGA Tours (Matthew Wolff won the men’s competition) where Aon selects risk-reward holes at each tournament and the lowest cumulative score in relation to par wins the top prize.

Green, who won the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, birdied 72 percent of the Aon Risk Reward Challenge Holes and didn’t make bogey on any of the Challenge Holes throughout the season.

“I try to be aggressive when I’m on the golf course. I feel like that’s where I can show that side of me,” Green said. “I just thought this was a great concept, and to be able to have the opportunity to showcase it every week was really cool.

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“It was just something I really wanted to win, especially coming down the crunch.”

Ally Whittaker was doing commentary at the AIG Women’s Open in August and told Green she was leading the standings. Whittaker is a friend of Green’s, and at that point Green ramped up the focus on winning the $1 million.

She pivoted her schedule and did not tee it up at last week’s Pelican Women’s Championship.

"Just shows how important it is to us LPGA players to sacrifice an event," Green said.

With her winnings (Green’s career-earnings are $2,262,361, with more than a quarter of that coming when she won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2019) Green said she’s planning to purchase a home. She had in her plans for the off-season to make that big-time purchase in Australia, which, she said, was very difficult to do as someone who plays a sport for a living.

Although Green won’t win the record $1.5-million prize at this week’s LPGA Tour season finale (she said earlier in the week, with a laugh, that if she did win she’d just buy a bigger house) she’s already looking forward to reaping the reward of navigating the biggest challenges the LPGA Tour had to offer in 2021.

“In a way for me,” said Green, “it will be life-changing.”