Sybase Match Play Championship
Hamilton Farm Golf Club
May 17, 2012
Patty Berg Bracket
Yani Tseng of Taiwan vs. Katie Futcher of Texas
This match up features two of the most competitive players on the LPGA Tour. Tseng is typically known for her strength and consistency but putting plagued her during Thursday's first round match and she earned a 1 UP victory over Jeong Jang. Futcher had an easier path to Friday's second round matches as she cruised to a 4&3 victory over Chella Choi.
Candie Kung of Taiwan vs. Haeji Kang of South Korea
Four-time LPGA Tour winner Candie Kung will have rely heavily on her putter on Friday if she wants to hold off Haeji Kang. Kang currently ranks fourth in putting average with 28.59. With a tied for 12th finish at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, Kang is coming off her best finish of the season. Look for Kung's iron play to keep this match close as she ranks 31st on tour in greens in regulation.
Jennifer Johnson of California vs. Karine Icher of France
Both Johnson and Icher didn't play 18 on Thursday as they cruised to Friday's second round match. Johnson upset No. 8 seed Paula Creamer in a 2&1 victory. With both players looking to notch their first career LPGA Tour victory, look for Icher to have the slight edge as she is coming off a third place finish at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.
Ryann O'Toole of California vs. Julieta Granada of Paraguay
This match features two young fiery players. Both O'Toole and Granada have immense experience in match play so look for this match to need 18 holes to determine the winner. Granada finished tied for ninth at last year's Sybase Match Play Championship while O'Toole was a member of the 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team.
Kathy Whitworth Bracket
Katherine Hull vs. Mariajo Uribe
In another upset of the day, Uribe defeated LPGA LOTTE Championship winner No. 4 seed Ai Miyazato, taking it to the final hole and finished 2 up. Hull ended her match with Song-Hee Kim on the 16th hole winning 3&2. Hull and Uribe have similar LPGA resumes, so this could be a back-and-forth match.
So Yeon Ryu vs. Mina Harigae
Ryu and Harigae both closed out their Thursday matches with 3&2 victories. Rookie stand-out Ryu defeated Karin Sjodin after coming back from a three-stroke deficit on the front nine, while Harigae took out Michelle Wie. Ryu and Harigae are both searching for their first win this season, so this is a match up worth watching.
Cristie Kerr vs. Vicky Hurst
Tenacious match-play competitor Kerr defeated Belen Mozo 2&1. Hurst, seeded No. 37, pulled off a win against No. 28 seed Meena Lee. Kerr could be considered the favorite in tomorrow's match-up but don't count out Hurst. Her strong competitive drive could allow her to put up a good fight against Kerr.
Angela Stanford vs. Eun-Hi Jee
Eun-Hi Jee took out Maria Hjorth after going into extra holes to finish 1 up on Thursday, while Stanford went back-and-forth with Wendy Ward to finish 2&1. This match will be interesting with Stanford's mental toughness and impressive LPGA resume and Jee's impeccable putting game.
Mickey Wright Bracket
Na Yeon Choi vs. Jenny Shin
Choi, the No. 2 seed this week, outlasted Grace Park after securing the win in the last two holes to win 2 up. Although Shin struggled with some aspects of her game Thursday she managed to finish 4&2 against Jimin Kang. If this battle comes down to experience Choi might have an edge as she has five LPGA victories under her belt while Shin will be searching for her first.
Morgan Pressel vs. Inbee Park
Neither Pressel, nor Park needed 18-holes to close out their first-round matches. Pressel gained control over her match with Mindy Kim on the back-nine to finish 5&4, while Park and Hee-Won Han were even through the 11th hole when Park broke loose and won three consecutive holes ending 3&2. Pressel and Park have similar LPGA resumes, so this could be a back-and-forth match.
Jiyai Shin of South Korea vs. Anna Nordqvist of Sweden
This second round match contains a combined 10 LPGA Tour victories. With both players ranking in the top-15 in birdies, look for this match to be birdie extravaganza. Despite Shin's injury she cruised to an impressive 6&5 victory over Jennifer Song while Nordqvist defeated Beatriz Recari 2&1. Both players have experience on their side as Shin finished third at the 2010 Sybase Match Play Champion and Nordqvist is a two-time European Solheim Cup team member.
Amy Yang and Natalie Gulbis of Nevada
Yang and Gublis took two different routes to Friday's second round match. While Yang defeated Amy Hung 3&2, Gulbis fought back from four down to earn a 1 UP victory over Mika Miyazato. Gublis' match play experience could give her the slight edge in the match as she has competed on three U.S. Solheim Cup teams. Despite Gulbis' experience this could be a match to watch as Yang has recorded two top-5 finishes this season and Gulbis is coming off a tied for ninth finish at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.
Annika Sorenstam Bracket
Jodi Ewart of England versus Sophie Gustafson of Sweden
Ewart pulled off the surprise 3&1 first-round upset of defending champion Suzann Pettersen to move to the round of 32 against European Solheim Cup veteran Sophie Gustafson. Ewart gained entry into the Sybase Match Play Championship field by placing in the top-12 of player's not otherwise qualified on the 2012 LPGA Official Money List at the conclusion of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. Sophie Gustafson defeated her European Solheim Cup teammate Karen Stupples, 4&3, to advance to the second round. The Swede is coming off a perfect 4-0-0 record at the 2011 Solheim Cup and has five LPGA Tour victories to her name. She has two top-20 finishes on Tour in 2012, both T18 at the Honda LPGA Thailand and LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf. Gustafson is sure to have the distance advantage off the tee, but the 24-year-old Ewart showed that she is fearless between the ropes on Thursday. Gustafson made it to the quarterfinals of the 2011 Sybase Match Play Championship before losing to Na Yeon Choi.
Karrie Webb of Australia versus Azahara Munoz of Spain
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Karrie Webb handily defeated Tiffany Joh, 4&3, in the first round and will play 2010 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Azahara Munoz on Friday. A 38-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Webb has failed to advance past the second round each of the last two seasons at Sybase and will face a formidable opponent in Munoz, who knocked out Lindsey Wright, 4&3, on Thursday. Munoz has quality match play experience on her resume. She lost in the finals of the 2008 U.S. Women's Amateur to Amanda Blumenherst and was a three-time European PING Junior Solheim Cup team member (2002, 2003, 2005). She also competed on her first European Solheim Cup team in 2011, posting a 2-1-1 record. The Spaniard is playing with a heavy heart this week following the death of her grandmother on Sunday.
Stacy Lewis of the United States versus Sandra Gal of Germany
One of the most intriguing matches on the Friday calendar pits 2011 Solheim Cup rookies Stacy Lewis and Sandra Gal in a battle of LPGA Tour young guns. Lewis, fresh off her second-career victory at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, won her first round match against Pat Hurst 4&3 with three birdies on the back-nine. Currently No. 7 on the Rolex Rankings, Lewis is fourth on the LPGA Official Money List. Gal, a winner at the 2011 Kia Classic and a member of the 2011 European Solheim Cup Team, knocked out Pornanong Phatlum, 1 up, to advance to the second round.
Sun Young Yoo of South Korea versus Jessica Korda of the United States
2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship winner Sun Young Yoo will face Jessica Korda in the second round of the Sybase Match Play Championship. Yoo defeated Amanda Blumenherst, 4&2, with birdies on 15 and 16 to advance to the field of 32. The 19-year-old Korda outlasted 2011 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Hee Kyung Seo, 1 up, with a birdie at 18. Yoo became a Rolex First-Time Winner in 2010 at the Sybase Match Play Championship and followed that up with her second-career victory in April at Golf's First Major. Korda, who became the fourth-youngest winner in LPGA Tour history at the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open in February, has experience in match play as a member of the 2010 U.S. Curtis Cup team and 2009 USA Junior Solheim Cup.