Jihee Jee, 37, has won the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour’s Bank of Hope Match Play ($1.5 million purse) for the second consecutive year.
Jeehee won by three holes with two holes remaining over Matilda Kastren (FIN) on the first day of group play at Shadow Creek Golf Club (Par 72) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on Friday (July 25).
Defending champion Ji-hee Kim will be looking for her second straight victory and seventh overall on the LPGA Tour.
Ji-hee opened up a two-stroke lead on the front nine, and parred the 12th and 15th holes to pull away from her opponent.
“I didn’t feel like I shot that well today. I think I was lucky and I think my opponent wasn’t feeling it today, so it was a little bit easier for me today,” she said.
“When I took the lead, I realized that I should never let go of the lead. I tried to save as many shots as I could, even if I didn’t feel good. I had my opponent catching up to me on other holes, but I hit a little more confidently, and there were a lot of difficult pin positions today, so I tried to capitalize on that.”
Jieun Shin (31) won her match against Anna Lin (27) by three holes with two holes remaining.
“We both played a good round,” said Shin. She made a bogey on the last hole, but the reason I was up and down was because I kept making birdies to keep the round going. Overall, I think I didn’t make too many mistakes, which made it difficult for her.”안전놀이터
Lee Jung-six (27) drew with Sophia Schubert (USA).
Kim Se-young (30), Hae-ran Hae (22) and Arim Kim (28) lost their first group matches.
This is the only event on the LPGA Tour to be played in a match-play format.
A total of 64 players will compete in 16 groups of four, with the first-place finisher in each group advancing to the round of 16. From there, it’s a single-elimination tournament until the final.