“Hot Six” Lee Jung-jeong, 27, won the second round of the Bank of Hope Match Play ($1.5 million purse) on the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour.
Lee defeated fellow South Korean Ye Eun Hong, 21, by two strokes (2&1) with one hole remaining in the second round of the group stage of the tournament at Shadow Creek Golf Course (Par 72) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on Saturday (June 26).
Lee, who had taken a two-hole lead into the 16th hole against Sophia Schubert (USA) the previous day before dropping the last 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 first place.
Lee is looking to bounce back in match play, having missed the cut in her last four events in six tournaments this season. 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 is 1-1, will face top-ranked Brooke Henderson (Canada-1-1) the next day in her final group match. She must win to advance to the round of 16 on her own. Lee, who is making her third appearance at the tournament, has never reached the round of 16 before. 안전놀이터
In her match against Hong Ye-eun earlier in the day, Lee took a three-shot lead into the 11th hole and cruised through the match. Lee made bogey on the 13th (par-3), which Hong saved with a par, and then capitalized on a double bogey by Hong on the 15th (par-4) to regain a three-shot lead.
Lee made a bogey on the 16th (par-5) to cut the deficit to two, but a par on the 17th, which was good enough for a tie, sealed the victory.
There were a number of wins for Korean players on the day. Kim Se-young (30) defeated Sarah Kemp (AUS) by two strokes to move to 1-1, while An Na-ryn (27) and Hae-ran Hae (21) also moved to 1-1 with one-stroke victories over Rinnia Strom (SWE) and Frida Sinald (SWE), respectively.
Kim Ah-rim (28) held a one-stroke lead over Lindsey Weaver Wright (USA) before dropping her final 18 holes to settle for a tie. 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 short with two holes remaining against Maddie Shrike (CAN). Ji-Eun Shin (31) also fell short 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.