Ji-hee Kim is off to a strong start in her quest to win the LPGA Tour’s only match play event for a second straight year.
Ji-hee Kim held a three-shot lead over Finland’s Matilda Kastren with two holes to play on the first day of the Bank of Hope Match Play Group Stage at Shadow Creek Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Ji Eun-hee, who won this event last year to improve to six wins on the LPGA Tour, started her title defense in fine form.메이저놀이터
The “eldest” of the South Korean players on the LPGA Tour, Ji-hee set the record for the oldest LPGA Tour victory by a South Korean at 36 years and 17 days at the time of last year’s event.
If she wins again this year, she’ll extend that record by about a year.
The 64-player field is divided into 16 groups of four, with the first-place finisher in each group advancing to the round of 16, followed by single-elimination matches from the round of 16 to the final.
With Lynn Grant (SWE) and Maddie Jericho (KEN) tied in the other match of the day in the same group, Ji-Hee Lee was the group leader.
A bogey by Kastren on the par-4 second hole gave Ji-hee a two-hole lead at the end of the first half.
After Kastren failed to defend her par at the 12th, Jihye dropped the 14th, but battled back at the 15th and closed out the match at the 16th.
Ji-hee will face Zerlik in the second round.
In the only match between Korean players in the first round of the group stage, Shin Ji-Eun edged out Anna Lin by three strokes.
Lee Jeong-eun drew with Sofia Schubert of the United States, while Kim Se-young lost to Jen Bei-yun of Chinese Taipei by three holes.
Rookie of the Year frontrunner Hae Ran Hae lost by two strokes to Lindsey Weaver-Wright of the United States, while her fellow group member Kim Ah-rim dropped a three-stroke match to Sweden’s Frida Sinnert.
Hong Ye-eun also suffered her first match defeat, falling by three holes to Canada’s Brooke Henderson.