Three-time European Solheim Cup team member Jodi Ewart Shadoff is no stranger to match play, and through the first three days at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM Rewards, her prior experience proved beneficial. The 34-year-old Englishwoman beat Thailand’s Jasmine Suwannapura, 3 and 2, on day three to go 3-0-0 in group play, an undefeated record that also saw her beat major champion So Yeon Ryu and defending champion Ally Ewing.
Ewart Shadoff led her Friday match until the par 3 13th when a par from Suwannapura tied things up. But Ewart Shadoff bounced back with wins on holes 14 and 15 and closed it out on the 16th with a par despite a minor snafu that could’ve gotten her penalized.
“I putted up to about a foot. I thought I heard Jasmine say, it's okay, and apparently, she did not say that's okay,” explained Ewart Shadoff. “So it was a little bit of a misunderstanding. Called the rules official and he said if it's a misunderstanding we get to place the ball back where it was so I did and made the putt.”
Coming into the week at Shadow Creek, Ewart Shadoff hadn’t been in the best form, finishing T49 and T50 in her last two starts, but she found something over the last three days that seems to be working well for her. With the Round of 16 looming large, Ewart Shadoff will be relying heavily on her fitness to carry her through the grueling 36-hole days in the heat of the Mojave Desert. As she looks ahead to the weekend, she’s mentally preparing herself for another tough match against sponsor invite Tiffany Chan, who also went undefeated in group play.
“It was just taking each match as it comes, never taking a match for granted,” Ewart Shadoff said of her mental strategy. “I knew every player that I'm playing is world-class so just concentrating on each match as it comes, each hole as it comes. That will be the game plan going into the weekend, too. I can't do much better than what I'm doing right now. Just try my best and see what happens. Two rounds a day is a lot. I’m working out hard, so I think I have that at least under my belt. I'm pretty fit I think. Just taking each match as it comes.”