Lee wins second round of LPGA Match Play to top group…”I have to win tomorrow, no questions asked

‘Hot Six’ Lee Jung-jeong, 27, of South Korea, won the second round of the Bank of Hope Match Play ($1.5 million purse) on the US Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour.

Lee defeated fellow South Korean Ye Eun Hong (USA) by two strokes (2&1) with one hole to play in the second round of the group stage of the tournament at Shadow Creek Golf Course (Par 72) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on 26 June.

Lee, who had taken a two-hole lead into the 16th hole against Sophia Schubert (USA) the previous day before dropping two shots in the final two holes to draw the match, won the match to move to 1-1 and earn 1.5 points. She also moved into a tie for second place.

Lee will be looking to bounce back in match play after a poor run of form this season, missing the cut in her last four tournaments in six appearances. Match play can be a new motivator for Lee, as she only has to focus on winning each hole in a one-on-one match against her opponent.

The 64-player field is divided into 16 groups of four for three days of group play, with only the first place finisher in each group advancing to the round of 16. Lee, who has one win and one draw, will face top-ranked Brooke Henderson (Canada – 1-1) in her final group match on the 27th. She must win to advance to the round of 16 on her own. Lee, making her third appearance at the event, has never reached the last 16.

In her match against Hong Ye-eun earlier in the day, Lee took a three-shot lead into the 11th hole. Lee made a bogey at the 13th (par-3), which Hong saved with a par, and then took advantage of a double bogey by Hong at the 15th (par-4) to regain a three-shot lead.

Lee bogeyed the 16th (par-5) to fall two shots behind, but a par on the 17th, which was good enough for a tie, sealed the victory.

“I’m very happy to get the win today,” Lee told the LPGA after the match, “I played well enough to win yesterday, but the wind got too much in the second half and I lost my shot feeling. I was very disappointed with how I played yesterday, so today I tried to stay focused in the second half and try to finish strong.”

“I think I need to win tomorrow (against Henderson) to make it to the round of 16,” said Lee, who played well in the second half. He’s not an easy player, so I’m going to stay focused until the end.” “This course is as difficult as a major, and it’s hard to make birdies. I’m just going to focus on my game and make pars and my chances will come.”

Se Young Kim in action during the second round of the LPGA Tour’s Bank of Hope Match Play group stage (Photo: AFPBBNews)
There were plenty of wins for South Korean players on the day. Kim Se-young (30) defeated Sarah Kemp (AUS) by two strokes to move to먹튀검증 1-1, while Annarin (27) and Hae-ran Hae (21) also moved to 1-1 with one-stroke victories over Rinnia Stromm (SWE) and Frida Sinnert (SWE) respectively.

Kim Ah-rim (28) held a one-stroke lead over Lindsey Weaver Wright (USA) before dropping shots on the final 18 holes to settle for a disappointing draw. Kim is still winless and has one draw and one loss.

Defending champion Ji Hee Lee (37), who won the previous day, fell three shots behind with two holes to play against Maddie Sherrick (CAN). Ji-Eun Shin (31) also lost by one hole to Riona Maguire (IRL).

Returning World No. 1 Jin Young Ko (28), Hyo Joo Kim (28) and Ji-in Jeon (29) did not compete in the tournament. Only two players in the world’s top 10, Lilia Boo (No. 4-USA) and Henderson (No. 8), were in the field.

Boo, the highest-ranked player in the field, was defeated by Alban Valenzuela (SUI), leaving her with a 1-1 record, while Henderson also lost to Schubert, leaving her with a 1-1 record.

Nine players – Carlota Zimda (Spain), Cheyenne Knight (USA), Pajari Annanarukarn (Thailand), Leona Maguire (IRL), Maya Stark (SWE), Ayaka Furue (JPN), Allie Ewing (USA), Celine Boutier (FRA) and Anna Nordqvist (SWE) – recorded two straight wins to progress to the round of 16.

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