Korea’s Eun-Hee Ji continued her quest for the final berth in next week’s U.S. Women’s Open, notching a 4-and-3 semifinal victory over Andrea Lee to reach the championship match of the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM. Ji survived a day that saw 20 mph winds, which greatly affected the way she attacked Shadow Creek. Aggression was set aside and replaced with a very simple technique.
“It's a totally different golf course than yesterday,” said Ji, now 5-0-1 this week. “I tried to make sure and hit it middle of the green, middle of the fairway.”
That plan of attack helped Ji capture a quick victory, needing just 15 holes to beat Lee and giving her a few more precious moments to rest ahead of the afternoon’s final match. Ji and Lee both held a 1-up lead on the opening nine holes. However, the match turned when Lee three-putted the par-5 ninth hole, giving Ji a 1-up advantage.
It was a lead she never relinquished. Ji went 2 up with a conceded par at No. 13 after Lee missed the green off the tee and could not convert her birdie putt. She then won 14 and 15 with back-to-back pars to secure a trip to the final match. Those pars were key, as the 16-year LPGA Tour veteran knew that pushing for more could be disastrous on such a difficult course.
“Making up and down (for) is almost making birdie, like feels like birdie,” said Ji. “So just make sure just safe play.”