Golf

Jodi Ewart Shadoff tops defending champion Ally Ewing in LPGA Match-Play opener

Jodi Ewart Shadoff tops defending champion Ally Ewing in LPGA Match-Play opener
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LAS VEGAS — Jodi Ewart Shadoff routed defending champion Ally Ewing 6 and 5 on Wednesday at Shadow Creek in the first round of group play in the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play.

After Ewing opened with a birdie win and halved the second with a par, Shadoff won seven of the next nine holes and closed out the match with a par for a halve on 13.

« I really love match play, » Shadoff said. « Anything can happen. I’ve been playing really solid recently, just been kind of working very hard on my putting with my coach. It seems to be paying off. »

The Englishwoman is playing Shadow Creek for the first time.

« It’s amazing, » Shadoff said. « Golf course is in incredible condition. You know, it’s one of the best courses I think I played in the US It’s such a great course and a really good challenge, and I think it’s really perfect course for a match-play event. »

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In the other Group 15 match, Jasmine Suwannapura beat So Yeon Ryu 5 and 3. The winners of the 16 four-player groups will advance to single elimination at the conclusion of round-robin play Friday.

On Thursday, Shadoff will face Ryu, and Ewing will play Suwannapura.

Minjee Lee, at No. 4 in the world the top player in the field, topped Youngin Chun 6 and 5. Lee is coming off a victory May 15 in the Founders Cup in New Jersey.

« It was really fun today, » Lee said. « I made a bunch of birdies and I was able to keep the momentum going to 10, 11, and then played a few more and finished on 13. It was nice to get done early today. It’s getting really hot. »

Sophia Popov, the runner-up last year in the inaugural event, fell 2 and 1 to Jenny Shin. Kelly Tan routed Las Vegas resident Danielle Kang 7 and 6.

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