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Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play Day 1 recaps: Top seeds struggle at Shadow Creek

Only five of the top 16 seeds won their matches on Day 1 of the inaugural Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play. Here’s a look at how the 32 matches played out on the opening day of the round-robin format.

Players will compete in three days of pool play with the player with the best record from each of the 16 groups (playoffs will determine a group winner, if necessary) advancing to the knockout stage of match play at Shadow Creek. Click here for group records.

Group 1

Jin Young Ko (1) def. Natalie Gulbis (64), 4 and 2: The final score of this match doesn’t reflect how close it was between world No. 1 Ko and Gulbis, who received a sponsor invite to make her first start of 2021. The first hole of the day was won by Gulbis as the top seed stumbled early. But Ko hit her stride with three consecutive birdies to take a 2-up lead through five holes. At the par-4 15th, Ko stumbled again, duffing her chip which left the door open for Gulbis. But Gulbis three-putted, to fall 3 down and was unable to recover. Ko drained a 15-footer for birdie at the par-5 16th to win the match, 4 and 2.

Caroline Masson (33) def. Anna Nordqvist (32), 3 and 2: European Solheim Cup teammates Nordqvist and Masson squared off on the first day at Shadow Creek. The lead changed hands three times in the first eight holes as Masson made birdie at the par-3 No. 8 to take a 1-up lead in the match. She extended her lead to 3 up with three holes to go and closed out Nordqvist at the 16th hole, 3 and 2.

Group 2

Celine Boutier (34) def. Gaby Lopez (31), 4 and 2: Boutier went undefeated in her first Solheim Cup appearance, going 4-0-0 for the week. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that she handily defeated Lopez on Day 1. Boutier took the lead with back-to-back birdies at hole Nos. 7 and 8 and never trailed in the match. Lopez made back-to-back bogeys at the 15th and 16th holes to hand Boutier the 4-and-2 win.

Inbee Park (2) vs. Jennifer Chang (63), tied: In one of the stunning outcomes on Day 1, Park and Chang finished tied. Park, a seven-time major champion, took the early lead in the match when Chang made bogey at the par-4 second. But Park never led by more than 1 up throughout the match. And Park made a bogey of her own at the par-4 sixth, to give Chang a chance to tie the match. The LPGA Tour rookie used it as a springboard, winning three holes in a row to take a 2-up lead on former world No. 1. One down on the final hole of the day, Park made a clutch up-and-down for birdie to tie the match with Chang.

Group 3

Sei Young Kim (3) vs. Ayako Uehara (62), tied: Kim was the last player to win a match-play event on the LPGA Tour. Wednesday, she picked up where she left four years ago with birdies on her first two holes to take a quick 2-up lead over Uehara. Kim remained in control over the match as the duo made the turn, but a birdie by Uehara at the par-4 12th and a bogey by Kim at the par-3 13th quickly shifted the momentum in Uehara’s favor. Kim rallied, winning two of the last three holes of the day to finish the match tied at the 18th hole.

Brittany Altomare (30) def. Yu Liu (35), 1 up: Altomare got off to a slow start in her match against Liu with three straight bogeys to start the day. But Liu suffered mistakes of her own on the closing stretch, making back-to-back double bogeys to allow Altomare to tie the match with three holes to go. The pair remained tied at the par-5 closing hole, where Altomare made birdie to defeat Liu, 1 up.

Group 4

Jenny Coleman (61) def. Brooke Henderson (4), 1 up: In the biggest upset on Day 1, Coleman, the No. 61 seed, defeated Henderson, No. 4. Henderson took quick command of the match by winning the first three holes, but a double bogey by Henderson at par-4 10th opened the door for Coleman, who won the hole to go 1 down in the match. Coleman rode that momentum to a win on the next hole to tie the match with Henderson and they both made mistakes at the par-3 13th, where Henderson won with a bogey to retake the lead. But the Canadian continued to struggle over the closing stretch, stringing together three consecutive bogeys to once again open the door for Coleman, who was able to take a 1-up lead at the par-5 16th. Henderson fought back at par-5 18th, where she made her only birdie on the back nine, however, Coleman made birdie, too, earning a 1-up victory.

Angela Stanford (29) def. Ashleigh Buhai (36), 1 up: Stanford, a six-time member of the U.S. Solheim Cup team, showed why she has been a mainstay on the American squad. Stanford got off to a rocky start with a bogey at the first hole to fall 1 down to Buhai. But, the Solheim Cup veteran rebounded with three consecutive birdies on holes 4-6 to take a commanding 3-up lead. Buhai, however, wasn’t going down without a fight and made three birdies of her own to tie the match at the par-5 16th. Stanford added another birdie at par-3 17th to retake the lead and held on to win the match.

Group 5

Danielle Kang (5) def. Albane Valenzuela (60), 7 and 6: Kang, a Las Vegas resident, took advantage of her local knowledge of Shadow Creek to pull out a commanding victory over Valenzuela. Kang led from the first hole of the day and never relinquished her lead. With her coach Butch Harmon looking on, Kang drained her fourth birdie of the day at the par-4 12th to close out her match with the LPGA Tour rookie.

Lizette Salas (28) vs. Madelene Sagstrom (37), 5 and 4: At par-3 13th, Salas and Sagstrom couldn’t determine who was away. Without a coin to flip, Salas tossed a tee in the air and when it landed pointing at her, she elected to putt it first. The four-time Solheim Cup veteran took a 4-up lead on Sagstrom and never looked back. She extended her lead at the next hole to win the match, 5 and 4.

Group 6

Alison Lee (59) def. Hyo Joo Kim (6), 5 and 4: In one of the biggest upsets of the day, Lee defeated Kim. Lee took advantage of her local knowledge having moved to Las Vegas in recent years. Her experience around Shadow Creek was evident as she birdied four holes in a row to take a commanding 4-up lead over Kim. Kim never led during the match as Lee made her fifth and final birdie of the day at par-4 14th to close out the match.

Megan Khang (27) def. Jenny Shin (38), 5 and 4: Shin jumped out to the early lead in her match with Khang by making birdie at the par-4 first. But Khang responded with a birdie at the second hole and an eagle at the fourth to take a 1-up lead on Shin. She birdied holes 6-8 to extend her lead to 4-up. When Shin bogeyed the par-4 14th, she opened the door for Khang, who won her sixth hole of the day with a par and clinched the match.

Group 7

Stacy Lewis (26) def. Mi Hyang Lee (39), 5 and 4: With a birdie at the first hole, Lewis took the early lead in her match against Lee. Lewis never let up as Lee won just one hole over the course of the day. Lewis’s third birdie came at the 12th hole, and she made it a memorable one, draining a putt from more than 30 feet to take a 4-up lead in the match. Lewis added another birdie at the 13th and went on to win the match, 5 and 4, over Lee.

Sarah Kemp (58) def. Patty Tavatanakit (7), 2 and 1: Fresh off a top-5 finish last week in Williamsburg, Kemp rode that momentum to victory to defeat the major champion, 2 and 1. Tavatanakit took an early 1-up lead, winning the first hole, but Kemp hit her stride on the back nine. She won three holes in a row to take a 2-up lead and held on for the win.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play

Group 8

Minjee Lee (8) vs. Jaye Marie Green (57), tied: The match between Lee and Green came down to the final hole. Tied at the par-4 18th, both players had a chance to win with birdie opportunities. Both players missed and settled for a tie and a half-point.

Moriya Jutanugarn (25) def. Cheyenne Knight (40), 5 and 3: Jutanugarn took an early 1-up lead in her match against Knight, when Knight made bogey at the par-4 first. The lead never changed as Knight won just one hole during the match. Jutanugarn closed out Knight by going 5-up at the par-4 15th.

Group 9

Gerina Piller (56) def. Hannah Green (9), 3 and 2: The first match of the day resulted in the first upset of the day with Piller defeating Hannah Green, 3 and 2. Piller took the early lead in the match by going 1-up at the first hole, but Green battled back with birdies at the fifth and sixth holes to take her only lead of the day. Piller went eagle-birdie-birdie over the next three holes to retake the lead, which she never relinquished for the duration of the match.

Azahara Munoz (41) def. Mel Reid (24), 2 up: Munoz jumped out to the early lead in her match with fellow Solheim Cup teammate Reid. She took a 2-up lead at the third hole, but Reid battled back to square the match with four holes to play. Munoz responded with two birdies over the closing stretch to once again pull ahead in the match.

Group 10

Nasa Hataoka (10) def. Jing Yan (55), 3 and 1: The momentum was on Yan’s side early in the match as Hataoka struggled during the opening stretch. Hataoka made bogey on the first two holes to give Yan the early advantage. But as Hataoka hit her stride, she won four holes in a row to take a 3-up lead as the pair made the turn at Shadow Creek. Hataoka won her sixth hole of the day at par-3 17th to win the match against.

Jasmine Suwannapura (42) def. Mi Jung Hur (23), 2 up: Suwannapura took quick command of her match with Hur, winning the first hole with a birdie. Suwannapura never trailed in the match, extending her lead to 2 up at the par 4 12th. Suwannapura stumbled with a bogey at the 14th hole, followed by a double bogey at the 15th hole, to fall back into a tie with Hur. But Suwannapura rebounded with a birdie at No. 16 to retake the lead and win the match.

Group 11

Eun-Hee Ji (43) def. Mirim Lee (22), 4 and 3: Ji never trailed in her match with Lee but Ji simply played steadily making a series of pars as Lee struggled. Lee carded two bogeys and a double bogey over her first 10 holes to give Ji a 3-up lead. Ji extended her lead to 4 up with a birdie at par-3 13th and closed out the match, 4 and 3.

So Yeon Ryu (11) def. Ryann O’Toole (54), 3 and 1: O’Toole jumped out to an early lead in her match with Ryu by making birdie at the first hole. But, it was the only time O’Toole would lead throughout the day as Ryu won two of the next three holes and never looked back. Ryu won three of the last four holes of the day to win, 3 and 1.

Group 12

Amy Olson (21) vs. Bronte Law (44), tied: The match between Olson and Law went all the way to the 18th hole as the two were never separated by more than 1 up during the course of the match. Olson took her first lead of the day at the par-3 13th, but Law tied the match with a birdie at the par-3 17th. The duo settled for a pair of pars at the last to finish the day in a tie.

Annie Park (53) def. Austin Ernst (12), 1 up: The momentum shifted Park’s way early in her match with Ernst. She made birdie on three holes in a five-hole stretch to take a 2-up lead on Ernst. But the momentum swung Ernst’s way over the inward nine, as she made birdie at the par-4 12th and was able to capitalize on a bogey by Park at the par-4 14th to tie the match. But with one final swing, Park made birdie at the par-5 18th to defeat Ernst, 1-up.

Group 13

Jennifer Kupcho (13) def. Christina Kim (52), 6 and 4: Kupcho rattled off four consecutive birdies in her first six holes to take a commanding 4-up lead. While Kim won two holes midway through the match, it wasn’t enough to catch Kupcho, who birdied the par-4 14th to close out the LPGA Tour veteran, 6 and 4.

Leona Maguire (45) def. Ally Ewing (20), 2 and 1: The lead switched three times over the first nine holes of the match between Maguire and Ewing, before Maguire took command. With three birdies in a four-hole stretch, Maguire took a 2-up lead and with her fifth birdie of the day at the par-3 17th, the rookie pulled out the upset over Ewing.

Group 14

Brittany Lincicome (46) def. Shanshan Feng (19), 2 and 1: Lincicome, in her first start on Tour since suffering a miscarriage, held off Feng to win on Day 1. Lincicome, a six-time Solheim Cup veteran, leaned on that experience as she turned the tide on her match with Feng, having trailed 1 down at the 11th hole. Lincicome won four of their last six holes to flip the match and defeat Feng, 2 and 1.

Jeongeun Lee (14) vs. Pajaree Anannarukarn (51), tied: During the tight match between Lee and Anannarukarn, neither player went more than 1-up during the day. Lee took advantage of the par-5 16th to make birdie and regain her 1-up advantage with just two holes to play. But with a birdie at the the par-5 closing hole, Anannarukarn was able to finish the day back where they started.

Group 15

Sung Hyun Park (18) def. Su Oh (47), 3 and 1: The match between Park and Oh was a tale of two nines. On the front, the match looked like it could go either way, as neither player led by more than 1-up. It was the par-4 ninth that would prove to be the turning point when Park made par while Oh made bogey. It was the first time Park led during the match and it signaled the downturn for Oh. Again at the 10th, Oh made bogey to give Park a 2-up lead. But when Park made a triple-bogey 7 at the par-4 11th, she opened the door for Oh, who won the hole easily with a par. But Oh’s struggles continued, suffering two bogeys and a double bogey over the final five holes to give Park a 3-up lead.

Sophia Popov (15) vs. Hee Young Park (50), tied: The lead changed hands four times over the course of the match between major champion Popov and Park. Popov extended her lead to as many as 2-up when Park went bogey, bogey, double-bogey on holes 9-11. But Park bounced back when Popov struggled on the inward nine and tied the match at the par-4 14th. Popov regained the lead with a par at the 15th hole, only to lose it with a bogey at the par-3 17th. The match was settled with a pair of pars at par-5 18th to finish the match tied.

Group 16

Sarah Schmelzel (48) def. Carlota Ciganda, 1 up: It was a penalty that determined the outcome of the match between Schmelzel and cup veteran Ciganda. Neither led by more than 1 up during the course of the match and arrived at the 18th hole tied. Ciganda made birdie at par-5 18th to earn the narrow victory. However, Ciganda was informed after the conclusion of the match that she had been given a slow-play penalty on the 18th, and the penalty would result in her loss of the hole. Therefore, Schmelzel won the hole and thus the match.

Ariya Jutanugarn (16) vs. Lauren Stephenson (49), tied: Jutanugarn and Stephenson enjoyed a tightly contested match that saw the lead change nearly half a dozen times. Jutanugarn looked to have an early command of the match when she took a 2-up lead through four holes, but Stephenson rallied and within two holes had tied the match again. The pair remained tied for much of the back nine and both made birdie at the par-5 18th to finish the match all tied.