Brittany Altomare erased a three-hole deficit and stunned top-seeded Minjee Lee of Australia 2 and 1 on Thursday in the second day of group action at the LPGA Match-Play in Las Vegas.
The result at Shadow Creek Golf Course leaves Altomare and Lee both with 1-1 records heading into their final matches in Group 1 on Friday. Germany’s Caroline Masson tops the group at 2-0 after a 2-and-1 win over South Korea’s Youngin Chun, who fell to 0-2.
The 64-player field is divided into 16 groups of four in a round-robin group stage. The group winners will advance to a 16-player, single-elimination bracket.
In addition to Masson, 10 other players won Thursday for the second day in a row: Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan in Group 2, South Korea’s Eun-Hee Ji in Group 4, South Korea’s Jenny Shin in Group 6, South Africa’s Paula Reto in Group 7, Mexico’s Gaby Lopez in Group 8, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda in Group 10, Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom in Group 12, South Korea’s Hye-Jin Choi in Group 13, Lilia Vu in Group 14, and England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff in Group 15.
Lee grabbed a 3-up lead through the first five holes and still had a three-stroke advantage through seven holes. Altomare then began her surge, claiming five of the next seven holes with birdies for a 2-up lead. She halved Nos. 15, 16 and 17 to seal the victory.
Asked about her mindset entering the match against the event’s top seed, Altomare said, “I wouldn’t say (I was) intimidated, but I just knew I had to play well. Obviously she’s playing great and she’s an amazing player. There is not enough words to describe her golf game.
“Yeah, I just knew I had to play well and I knew it was going to be a bit of a fight. I didn’t start off the way that I wanted to but, if I’ve learned anything from Solheim (Cup) the last couple years, it’s you just can’t give up because you never know what’s going to happen in match play.”
Masson held a two-hole edge after three holes and never trailed. Chun was behind by just one hole after claiming Nos. 12 and 13, but Masson doubled the lead with a birdie at No. 16 and wrapped up the match when both players parred No. 17.
Defending champion Ally Ewing bounced back from an opening-day loss to beat Thailand’s Jasmine Suwannapura 3 and 2. Ewing and Suwannapura are both 1-1 in Group 15, trailing Ewart Shadoff (2-0).
“I (got) out to the lead, made a couple really good early birdies, and then was able to just hold on and battle the heat and battle a really good player in Jasmine,” Ewing said. “I did what I could do today, and tomorrow will be a different battle.”
–Field Level Media
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