CME Group Tour Championship

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Naples, Florida, USA

Tiburon Golf Club

Hannah Green

Matthew Wolff

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: All right, welcome everyone here today. We are excited to announce Hannah Green as the winner of the Aon Risk Reward Challenge and the $1 million prize on the LPGA Tour.

As many of you know, the Aon Risk Reward Challenge is a season-long competition across both the PGA and the LPGA Tour that highlights golf's best strategic decision makers and notably awards equal prize money to winners on both tours.

I think we have a quick video to highlight the winners on the LPGA and PGA Tours.

(Video shown)

THE MODERATOR: Hannah, I think you were a little surprised by some of those numbers there. Before we get to you, I would like to introduce Jennifer Bell, the CEO of North America from Aon who is joining us today.

We're happy to have you here.

JENNIFER BELL: Megan, thank you so much. It's really great to be here. And Hannah, congratulations on winning the Aon Risk Reward Challenge. I mean, well done. You did an incredible job throughout the entire year.

Our organization is global, so all of our colleagues around the globe, especially your home country Australia, was watching you on every single challenge hole, and you were really at the top of the leaderboard practically throughout the entire competition.

It was really about -- you mentioned working closely with your caddie, you know, dealing with the climate, making the decisions, and week by week you made great decisions in that moment.

And so well done, great job, and congratulations. So happy for you to win this award.

HANNAH GREEN: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be in this position.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations again, Hannah. Kind of breaking down some of those numbers that you saw in that video, Hannah's ability to maximize opportunity propelled her to the best season-long scoring average on the Aon Risk Reward Challenge in holes all across the LPGA Tour season.

Her strategic approach and better decision making enabled her to birdie, like we saw in the video, 72%, and eagle almost 10% of the Aon Risk Reward Challenge holes that counted within the 40 minimum rounds necessary to qualify for the challenge.

Hannah, how does it feel to be this year's winner with stats like that?

HANNAH GREEN: I was actually quite intrigued. I wanted to find out what my averages were after seeing a little bit of a speil on Matt's performance this year.

So to see that I was quite surprised, and to see that I didn't have over par on the hole ether was even more surprising.

Yeah, big thank you to Nate, my caddie, for helping me get to where I am not only just for regular tournaments, but for this challenge as well.

THE MODERATOR: And Jennifer, when you created this season-ling challenge, it was very important for that parity between the LPGA and PGA Tours with the $1 million prize between the tours. Now that we're two years in, can you tell us a little bit more about not only the significance of this program, but how it aligns with Aon's values as an organization?

JENNIFER BELL: Sure, thank you. As co-lead of global inclusive leadership council, it is really important for us as we look at equity around what we're doing around the world, and it really brings us together.

I can tell you that it really is incredibly important to us as an organization, but also it just really brings everything together for an as an organization around sports equity, because we wanted to bring gender equity into the equation.

So when you look at what we're doing with the Challenge, that's what we have tried to accomplish, and I think we accomplished it. So we're really excited for both Matthew Wolff and, you, Hannah Green. You're amazingly talented and strategic players so congratulations.

THE MODERATOR: As Jennifer mentioned you competed all year long, as did the men on the PGA TOUR for this $1 million prize. What does that mean to you to have the parity and the same prize money for both tours, and how meaningful is it to know you're walking away with a $1 million check?

HANNAH GREEN: I know. I haven't even made that much money over two seasons, so, yeah, it's still not quite sunk in yet.

But, yeah, for Aon to actually do this and not just talk the talk but present this for us on the LPGA and PGA TOUR, we're very grateful.

It's something that I guess players don't really think about at the start of the year. Yeah, you might making an eagle on the hole, but you're like, Okay, it's all season long.

But coming down to the crunch I was nervous. It's definitely such a life changing thing for us players. Just gives me a little bit of comfort when I come back out to play each season.

So, yeah, I'm very grateful.

THE MODERATOR: All right. I would now like to turn our attention to the Zoom over here. We are pleased to be joined by Matthew Wolff, this year's Aon Risk Reward Challenge winner on the PGA TOUR.

Matthew, thank you for joining us.

MATTHEW WOLFF: Yeah, thank you for having me, and congratulations, Hannah.

HANNAH GREEN: Yeah, congrats to you, too. It's awesome.

MATTHEW WOLFF: Thank you, thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Matthew, after you were awarded the Aon trophy in August you spoke about the parity between both programs on the LPGA and PGA Tours.

Would you ming sharing your thoughts on the importance of this gender equity aspect of the program?

MATTHEW WOLFF: Yeah, I think it's extremely important. It is a season-long race, so for the entire season, like Hannah mentioned, at the start you're not thinking too much about it, but once it gets down to crunch time it's a pretty life changing deal.

$1 million is a lot of money, and at the end of the day, it doesn't matter where you're playing, what tour you're on, what course you're at, the decisions that you have to make, you have to really think them through.

It doesn't matter, like I said, what course you're on or anything like that. You really have to make the correct decisions, as I did and as Hannah did as well. We made them at the right times. Aon picks the risk-reward hole because it's a risk-reward challenge.

I think the critical thinking we did in that moment deserves a prize like that. At the end of the day, I'm really happy that Hannah and I are making the same amount, because like I said, it's the same decisions.

But it's definitely a hard task to do.

THE MODERATOR: I was going to say, what do you get from Matthew's experience there, what he was going through, what you have been going through all season long?

HANNAH GREEN: Yeah, he's exactly right. Even the decisions you make on the hole, it's also what you do for the week. How do you play your practice rounds? Do you pay a little bit more attention on that hole? Do you go to the gym a little bit longer?

It just shows all the work that we've done for however long we've been playing the sport. So to be able to have the opportunity to do that is really cool.

Yeah, it's a great position for Matt and I to be in. I think this is really going to kick off not only for golf, but other sports.

THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. There is not a soul who knows you who would categorize you as a risk taker. What are we missing?

HANNAH GREEN: 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. I don't know. I just thought this was a great concept, and to be able to have the opportunity to showcase it every week was really cool.

But I don't know. It was just something I really wanted to win, especially coming down the crunch. Yeah, maybe that shows my golf a little bit more, and hopefully I can keep this trophy for another year.

Q. So at every event the various options?

HANNAH GREEN: Yeah. I mean, I would always read the fact sheet to see what hole it was and always tried to make sure that I got a practice round on that hole. I wasn't really aware of where my standings were until the British Open.

Ally Whittaker, a friend of mine, she was doing the commentary for the Women's AIG Open that I was leading, and I was like, Oh, okay.

With seven or eight events left in the year anything can really happen, so the last three or four events I was definitely paying attention. When I played in Korea I made two birdies, which is what I needed to do.

I'm not very emotional when I'm on the golf course. I don't really fist pump a lot or high five with my caddie. But that was a big moment for me and Nate. Yeah, just shows how important it is to us LPGA players for me to, yeah, sacrifice an event, and also make decisions on the golf course.

Q. And I think the word life changing is probably a little bit too much, but it's a big number. $1 million is a lot. Have you thought about what that's going to mean to you and how you're going to use it?

HANNAH GREEN: Yeah. I actually wanted to buy a house during the off-season, so this gives me an opportunity to actually play comfortably. It is quite difficult to buy houses in Australia, especially as a sports person with the not-frequent income, and as well as foreign income.

So in a way for me it will be life changing. I could almost pay my house off and not have a mortgage, so it's setting me up for after I finish playing golf.

To me it definitely is life changing.

Q. Do you have the house picked out yet?

HANNAH GREEN: No. The market is a crazy in Australia. Every time I look online every house that I like is under offer within two or three days. When I return to Australia after I have done the hotel quarantine I'll be looking.

Q. You clinched it in Korea, at the BMW?


Q. What was the clinching birdie? What did you do?

HANNAH GREEN: I just two-putted. So the hole was it was reachable I would say for everyone in the field, and the pin was on the right.

I hit a 3-wood onto the green, and it was still a tricky putt to make, but it kind of was tracking but it was never really going to get there.

So I had a nice tap-in birdie, and I knew straightaway what I needed to do. My caddie, Nate, and I ran all the scenarios and I knew I needed to make two birdies to at least improve my overall score. Was able to do that, so quite a big moment for us.

On the weekend I tried to make eagle but that didn't happen.

Q. No bogeys either.


Q. And the other thing, Hannah, you were curious about some of your numbers this year. I would be curious what you did after the first year. Did you go back and look to see where you were in the standings?

HANNAH GREEN: No. I was going to try and find that information but I didn't look because I don't think I did perform that well. Plus, I did play more of a season. I sacrificed five events this year to go back to Australia to prepare for the Olympics in the back half of the season, so I didn't play as many events, so didn't really know where I was.

I thought perhaps girls that were playing had more of an advantage playing those events and having the opportunity. Really only came up on my radar in August.

Q. Thanks. Happy house hunting.

THE MODERATOR: Again, if there is any questions on the Zoom, please let us know in the chat function. Hannah, one of the things we saw over the past couple days, the response from players past and present who have congratulated you, including Australian legend, Karrie Webb. What has the congratulations been like from players of past and present?

HANNAH GREEN: It's crazy. I guess everyone knew about the Challenge because it has been so well promoted on TV, social media, and everything like that.

We only have two or three opportunities a year to win $1 million in one chunk, so to be able to do it and for it to kind of sink in, yeah, a lot of people have been congratulating me and I just can't stop smiling.

Yeah, I'm very grateful and probably be smiling all week.

THE MODERATOR: And on top of that, also Karrie, I remember her tweet, which I was kind of special. What are some of the things she has said to you that may helped throughout your season on these challenge holes?

HANNAH GREEN: She always keeps in contact with all of us Australians. She said she knew about the Challenge and my position prior to going to Asia. She was almost surprised that I went to Korea, but I love Korea so I was always going to go.

It was a difficult decision not playing the final event, but I wasn't quite ready to play a tournament, so it didn't work out. But, yeah, she was like one of the first people to message me to say congratulations. It's always nice to have that. I'm actually catching up with her tonight for an Australian barbecue, so I will buy her a drink, so...

Maybe a bottle.

THE MODERATOR: Before we open it up to our friends in Australia, Jennifer, what is it like hearing -- well, first off, seeing the smile on Hannah's face, but also hearing of all the players, whether it be players like Karrie Webb or players also competing all year have such a hearty thanks for this program?

JENNIFER BELL: You know, it means so much to us personally, but also as a firm. It's so important for us to really be part of the LPGA and help lift it within the world in what we're doing and really give visibility to all these amazing players.

So we love it that everybody is focused on the Aon Risk Reward Challenge to help you make better decisions through your game. It really is, it's just amazing. So we're really proud and really thankful to be part of it.


Q. I got a couple questions here from some writers back home. You've talked about this being a -- you take challenges on the golf course, you take risks on the golf course. What are some of the biggest risks you've taken off the golf course that have helped propel your career to where it is now?

HANNAH GREEN: I guess learning my first couple years on tour that I wasn't in a good headspace with being away from Australia. I guess you never really know what's going to be the right way for you to go about it, but I guess you have to try in order to find that out.

So, yeah, the first couple years I was on tour I was doing four or five months away from home and I wasn't a happy person off the golf course, so it kind of reflected on the golf course.

So I think making sure that I realized that and changing it up in 2019. I had great success, and I do think that was a big part of it.

So there is always things that you learn about your self, even this year. I decided to take, yeah, five events off to try and prioritize the Olympics as well as all the majors, British Open and even this Tour Championship.

So there's been a lot of sacrifices, and I think as a golfer and athlete you have to do that, but making sure you're comfortable with it is the most important thing.

Q. What part of a golf course setup or design really fits you? If you step up to an Aon Risk Reward hole, what are you looking at that's going to help you be able to take advantage of that hole?

HANNAH GREEN: Uh-huh, I guess it's really assessing the risk. With the added length that I gained this off-season it's been really nice to come to golf courses that I've seen before and actually be able to go for them in two comfortably on a Par-5 or even go for it on a par-4.

So that's been quite a big change to get used to. I mean, every player assesses the golf course, and you obviously have to pull it off as well, which is the hardest thing. Sometimes you can go for it and hit it exactly where you want it, but for some reason things don't work out.

So, there is a lot of risk that you need to take, but also have to, yeah, hit the shot and pull it off.

Q. It's been a great year for Australian golf with you winning this, Su making the hole-in-one last week for the Lamborghini, Minjee winning the Evian. What does this say about Australian golf that you've got three young players doing such great things for the women's game?

HANNAH GREEN: Yeah, I hope it's inspiring the girls. Five girl got to play the Women's Asia Pacific last week in Abu Dhabi, and two players are actually going to come out and watch us this week, so it will be really nice to catch up with them.

Unfortunately there has been a lot of border closures in Australia which has restricted them from playing tournaments and almost set them back a year and a half from probably wanting to turn profession.

So it's great to see they're traveling again and things are becoming a little bit more normal. I hope that, yeah, it's inspiring for them and they want to come out and play with us.

THE MODERATOR: All right, I'll open it up to Zoom.

Q. Congratulations. I'll let you know that I contribute to Aon Insurance back here, so I'm glad that I contributed to your prize money.

JENNIFER BELL: Thank you very much.

Q. Obviously another big tournament this week where you can win $1.5 million. Do you draw some confidence out of this latest little sort of milestone achievement going into this week?

HANNAH GREEN: Yeah, definitely. I even had a good result last year here at CME. Finished tied for second, so it's always nice to come back and play at practice round and remember when I made clutch putts and up and downs and made birdies.

I feel like I'm a bit fresher than I was last week, which is always good. So I'm looking forward to playing and then coming back home.

Q. What would a win to finish the season mean for you going into 2022 as well?

HANNAH GREEN: I feel like I had a really great start to this year's season. Since the Olympics I've been really flat, so I been working hard still, and unfortunately things just haven't worked out the way I thought they would, which is I guess golf.

So I'm hoping, yeah, to finish the season strong and be able to celebrate, come back home. That's what I've done the last two times that I've won, I've gone straight onto a plane, so I don't see why I can't do it this week.

Q. Just wondering what your plans are for the Australian summer when you head back home?

HANNAH GREEN: Yeah, so I get out of hotel quarantine on the 8th of December, so I'm hoping to have another couple weeks off up to Christmas, and then I'm going to get ready and try and play the Women's PGA Championship, which is the second week of January over in Queensland.

It's been tricky being a West Australian at the people with how the borders change so quickly, so I'm really hoping that I'll be able to play that.

It will be a really big honor to possibly try and win the Karrie Webb Cup, and hopefully she's there and can present it to one of us young Australian players.

I also hope to play Vic Open if it's on, and then I'll start my season on the LPGA up in Asia.

THE MODERATOR: Just two more questions from me before we wrap this up. One of the things you talked about that you worked on recently and gearing into this season was distance. How much did the work on distance enable you to take more risks, and was that a factor in taking more risks?

HANNAH GREEN: Yeah, definitely. I felt like it's always nice when you go to a golf course that you played and you're hitting in spots you never hit it before.

When I got to Kia Classic, (audio distortion) I played a practice round and hit -- I tee'd off on the 10th hole and my caddie gives me my line and I hit it and I go through the (indiscernible.)

Yeah, getting used to that was tricky at the start, and I think that's why I had a couple not-so-good results when I first came back. Definitely makes a big difference. I feel like a lot of the time you just get that bridge that just gets down there so you have and iron in or things like that.

So it's been really advantageous with this challenge. Definitely brings you a lot more confidence when you're actually making the birdies and the eagles as well.

Yeah, I'll be doing some more this off-season.

THE MODERATOR: And thinking about the beginning of your professional career, you started on the Symetra Tour, being able to claw your way on to the LPGA Tour.

A lot of people fighting for their cards still on Symetra Tour year after year. Now to be able to walk away this season with a bonus $1 million, what's the magnitude of that $1 million based on the journey that you've taken through your professional career?

HANNAH GREEN: Yeah, I mean, I hope that it continues not only with this challenge, but for us players to be able to play for $1 million as a winner's check.

I mean, I was really lucky that I think got some Symetra Tour status. That was where I was able to build some confidence. I was successful. I had a few wins and graduated that way, and it gave me some more confidence coming onto the LPGA.

I didn't feel intimidated, but I just didn't feel like I quite belonged when I first started because I didn't have the results. So backing that up kind of the end of the year made a big difference.

Yeah, I probably wouldn't have thought that I would be in this position four, five years ago when I first turned professional.

THE MODERATOR: I know we have I think one or two more.

Q. Congratulations on winning the bonus. Talk to us briefly about the Olympics experience. You were in medal contention for the whole week. How much did it take out of you, that week in Tokyo?

HANNAH GREEN: Yeah, it was really difficult. It was really hot and humid, which is conditions that I don't particularly like. I feel like that's probably also because I've grown up in Perth with just such a dry heat.

It's just different. You're playing for your country, for yourself. It was really difficult not having crowds. It would've been amazing to have especially the Japanese fans. I feel like they love watching the LPGA and obviously the JLPGA, so hopefully next time there is an Olympics there is no COVID involved.

But, yeah, it really took it out of me. I didn't play so well the first nine holes of the last round, and then got myself into gear and had a really good back nine.

It would've been nice to have par'd the last, but if you told me at the start of the week I would've been in contention, and even tied fifth, I probably would've taken it, especially after five weeks off.

So, yeah, it was an experience, and definitely motivated me to hopefully get to Paris in 2024.

Q. You just mentioned you have to stay in hotel quarantine. How many times is that now you've come back to Australia for hotel quarantine, and what do you to try and fill in the time?

HANNAH GREEN: So I've done it twice, and Monday I leave to go back home, so Wednesday I'll arrive and have to do another two weeks in Perth. I must admit, I am pretty tired. Even though I haven't played as many events as usual, it is quite tough.

I haven't been home since July, so four months I guess on the road. So probably take a few days of just recovering to get on the correct time zone.

But I like doing jigsaws, probably on social media. I mean, what else do we do type of thing. I just would love if I had some fresh air, but I'm not sure if that will happen in Perth.

I'm pretty good at entertaining myself. I'll probably be watching sport.

Q. You touched on the pandemic being a real setback for some of the younger players putting their careers back 18 months and whatnot. You're a also player director on the new players' association. Are you satisfied that everything was done to try to ensure there was an Australia Open this year after they learned from the experience last year or maybe didn't learn to be able to put one together, or was it just unfortunate and out of their hands?

HANNAH GREEN: I think it is unfortunate. You can't host an event and not have players get there, and to be able to sacrifice two weeks of work as well, and a lot of these players have had to find another job during this pandemic.

To possibly risk going to another state to then have missed two weeks of work after that, it's difficult. I think that's what the players' association is about. We want to know why things happen. It's not necessarily that we are demanding there has to be an event. I think we just want to know how all these processes work.

I feel like on the LPGA they're always very clear and informative, and that's what we want as players in Australia.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Darren. I think that will be all from us. So I just want on say thank you all again for joining us. Thank you to everyone on Zoom and Matthew and for hopping on as well, Jennifer, and congratulations to Hannah.

JENNIFER BELL: Congratulations Hannah.

HANNAH GREEN: Thanks, everyone.

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