Andrea Lee (48) def. Caroline Masson (32), 2 and 1
both Andrea Lee and Caroline Masson came to the Round of 16 undefeated. However, considering Masson had just taken down No. 1 seed Minjee Lee on the final day of group play, the momentum seemed to be heavily in her favor. Right out of the gate, Masson muscled his way to an early 2-up lead, winning the first hole with a par and the third hole with a birdie. But Lee wasn’t going to just lay down. After winning the fourth hole with a birdie, Lee sank another on the fifth to square the match, then added one more on the seventh to go 1 up.
Masson tied things back up with a par on the tenth, but Lee retook the lead on the 13th with a par. Another pair from Masson squared the match once again with three to play. Lee ultimately made back-to-back pars to win the 16th and 17th, defeating Masson, 2 and 1, to move on to the Quarterfinals.
“I bogeyed my first hole, so not the best start, but I made four birdies in a row,” Lee said. “Some of the holes on the back nine are a little bit tougher with the hole locations and trying to get the clearing points over the hazards. Fifteen was a tough hole and I made a mistake. Caro hit it followed into the penalty area, and I suit. That’s definitely not something that you want to do if you want to play it safe. So, I lost that hole, but I stayed really patient. There were three holes left and just parred 16, 17, and thankfully that was good enough. Caro was a great opponent today, so it was a tough match.”
Jenny Shin (38) def. Annie Park (54), 2 and 1
Las Vegas resident Jenny Shin kept the dice rolling on Saturday at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM Rewards with a win over No. 54 seed Annie Park. Shin came out swinging early, winning five of the first eight holes, but Park didn’t back down. She made an eagle on No. 9 and a birdie on No. 11 to get back to 3 down, then carded back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16, leaving Shin 1 up with two to play. Despite Park’s valiant effort, it only took a par from Shin on the tricky par-3 17th to close out the match, 2 and 1. She advanced to the Quarterfinals boasting a 3-0-1 record.
“Better than last year,” said Shin, who lost to Eun-Hee Ji in the Round of 16 in 2021. “I’ve played enough match play where 5-up doesn’t really mean anything, especially coming in the front nine . I knew she was going to battle back. She didn’t make it up here for nothing. I tried my best. I struggled with my shots towards the end a little bit. I had to make quite a few par saves but I didn’t lose any shots, so I’m pretty happy about that.”
Lilia Vu (51) def. Allisen Corpuz (62), 4 and 3
Epson Tour graduate lilia vu and LPGA Tour rookie Allisen Corpuz may be friends off the golf course, but no mercy was shown in their Round of 16 match on Saturday at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM Rewards. After the pair carded matching pars on the first three holes, Vu went 1 up with a birdie on the 4th, got to 2 up with another birdie on the 6th and extended her lead to 3 after winning the eighth hole with a par. Corpuz got a hole back with a birdie on the par-5 ninth, but Vu won holes 11 and 12 with pars to go 4 up, finally finishing off the match on 15 with a par to win 4 and 3.
“I think when we teed off it was 79 degrees. Not quite my California weather, but it was better than the past couple days,” said Vu of the milder Saturday conditions. “I didn’t feel entirely rested this morning, so I was just trying to focus on one thing at a time, not get ahead of myself. (Allisen and I) are pretty good friends. We played in LA a couple of weeks ago so it was nice to play with her again and catch up. I think it was definitely friendlier than the other matches I had this week.”
Ayaka Furue (10) def. Paula Reto (58), 2 and 1
Playing for par was all No. 10 seed Ayaka Furue needed to do to defeat No. 58 seed Paula Reto, 2 and 1, and advance to the Quarterfinals. The Japanese rookie made 12 pars over 17 holes of play, taking the lead on the second hole and never relinquishing it. With an emphasis on “bringing it back to the focus part of my game,” a tactic she has been utilizing all week, Furue battled through some struggles on most of the back nine. This is where her pars of her became important. After Reto got back to 1 down with a par on the 10th, she and Furue tied the next three holes. Ayaka then parred No. 14 to regain her 2-up lead and never gave it back.
“I gave myself a lot of birdie chances, so it was just waiting for one to drop in, but I just kept getting pars,” she said. “It’s pretty important to be making those pair saves out here and I was able to snag a couple on way in.”
Jodi Ewart Shadoff (50) def. Tiffany Chan (63), 4 and 3
The five-o-clock alarm on Saturday morning was a bit of a shock for Jodi Ewart Shadoffwho teed off against Tiffany Chan at 8:10 am for their Round of 16 matches. If she was fatigued, however, it didn’t show. In fact, the No. 50 seed left the course early for the fourth day in a row, defeating Chan 4 and 3.
The two golfers battled back-and-forth on the front nine, with Chan 1 up through 7, until Ewart Shadoff shifted the momentum, carding an eagle on the par-5 ninth. From there, consistency of play and a “middle of the green, middle of the fairway” mindset was all she needed to defeat her opponent and conquer Shadow Creek’s difficult back nine.
“I just made a lot of pars today and I think out here pars are pretty good score. They seem to be winning a lot of holes. I didn’t really have that many opportunities at birdie today,” she said. “I felt like the course was playing maybe a little bit tougher, tougher pin locations, and so I just remained patient.”
Madelene Sagstrom (12) def. Emma Talley (60), 4 and 2
With a birdie on the par-4 first hole, Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom immediately had the advantage in her Round-of-16 match with Emma Talley. Sagstrom, a two-time European Solheim Cup player, never trailed in her 4-and-2 win over Talley, though the Kentuckian did tie the match through four holes. Sagstrom then birdied the par-3 fifth to regain a 1-up lead and never let Talley back into the match, advancing to the Quarterfinals with a match-winning birdie at the par-5 16th hole.
“I didn’t make too many mistakes, and I think that’s kind of what you have to do when the golf course is tough and when you’re trying to just slowly but surely build momentum,” said Sagstrom, now 4-0- 0 for the event. “Was kind of trying, letting her make the mistakes first and hopefully not me. She made a couple birdies, got the ball rolling on the first one and stuff like that, but it’s solid. Par is good out here.”
Eun-Hee Ji (36) def. Hye-Jin Choi (20), 2 and 1
In a back-and-forth match between two Korean “sisters,” 2009 US Women’s Open champion Eun-Hee Ji outlasted Hye-Jin Choi for a 2-and-1 victory. Ji took a 1-up lead with birdies twice on the opening nine holes, but it was Choi, a 2022 LPGA Tour rookie, who held a 1-up lead at the turn after she birdied the par-five ninth. Ji won the next three holes, with a birdie at No. 12 giving her a 2-up lead. Choi again tied the match with wins at 13 and 15, setting up a three-hole showdown for a berth in the Quarterfinals.
Ultimately, Ji only needed two holes to secure the win and an afternoon tee time. She birdied the par-4 16th to go 1 up and took the win with a par at No. 17, reaching the Quarterfinals for the second year in a row.
“I feel excited really. I don’t feel like (I was) hitting it very well this morning; actually I hit it better than yesterday, so I try (to be) more aggressive with my play,” said Ji. “And Hye-Jin was playing pretty good, especially with her putter, so I had a little bit of pressure on me.”
Gemma Dryburgh (8) def. Moriya Jutanugarn (24), 22 holes
Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh seemed easily in control of her Round-of-16 match with Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn, holding a 3-up lead through 13 holes. But as happens so often in match play, that power dynamic quickly changed. Jutanugarn won four of the last five holes, nailing a birdie at No. 18 to tie the match and send the pair back to No. 10 for the only playoff of the morning round.
Four holes later and Dryburgh continued her magic run in Las Vegas, draining a long birdie putt from off the green at No. 13 to secure the victory. Dryburgh was on site as the first alternate and only booked her spot in the field late Tuesday night after Anna Nordqvist withdrew.
“Amazing golf from both of us,” said Dryburgh, who is looking for her first LPGA Tour victory. “I was hoping to get it done earlier, but I’m glad to get it done. At least it was only four more extra holes. I thought we were going to go even more.”