The world’s best are set to tee It up in the third edition of the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM Rewards this week at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, Nev. Round-robin pool play begins on Wednesday, and with 32 total matches to keep an eye on, here are a few to be watching closely on day one:
8:30 AM*: Eun-Hee Ji vs. Matilda Castren
Six-time LPGA Tour winner and defending champion Eun-Hee Ji will face off against Finland’s Matilda Castren in match four. Ji has only tied or lost three matches in her two previous appearances in the event and her most impressive performance came last season when she beat Madelene Sagstrom, 7 and 6, in the quarterfinals.
Although Castren was unable to advance to single-elimination play in her Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play debut in 2022, she’s proven herself before in the match-play format. Castren was a rookie on the European Solheim Cup team in 2021 and finished the week with a 3-1-0 record, draining the winning putt to help her team retain the Solheim Cup.
9:50 AM*: Alison Lee vs. Maria Fassi
Alison Lee is one of the players in the field of 64 that calls Shadow Creek home and will duke it out with Mexico’s Maria Fassi in match 12 on Wednesday. Lee is playing in her third Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play, boasting a 2-3-1 record, and played on the 2015 United States Solheim Cup team, earning a 1-3-0 record.
Fassi is making her tournament debut this week and is looking to use the event to find some form ahead of the season’s biggest events. She’s recorded one top-15 finish, a tie for 15th at the Honda LPGA Thailand, and missed four cuts in seven starts this year. But as we’ve seen in the past, a solid week in Vegas can give a player the confidence that helps propel them to success later in the season.
10:10 AM*: Cheyenne Knight vs. Sarah Kemp
Match 14 features LPGA Tour winner Cheyenne Knight, who has been one of the Tour’s hottest players in recent weeks, in a head-to-head matchup with Australian Sarah Kemp, who helped her country to a second-place finish in the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown earlier this month. Knight has recorded two top-10 finishes this season along with three additional top 20s, including a tie for 14th at The Chevron Championship. She’s making her third appearance at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play and has a 1-1-4 record in the event.
Kemp finished in a tie for 13th at the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro and carried that momentum with her to TPC Harding Park where she earned 2.5 points for the Australia Team en route to their runner-up showing. Kemp again finished T13 the week after International Crown at the Cognizant Founders Cup, a week that was highlighted by an impressive 7-under 65 in round two.
12:30 PM*: Gemma Dryburgh vs. Stacy Lewis
The 28th match on day one at Shadow Creek will pit 2022 Rolex First-Time Winner Gemma Dryburgh against United States Solheim Cup captain and major champion Stacy Lewis. Dryburgh was the talk of the town in last year’s edition of the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play when she made it all the way to the quarterfinals after only getting into the field late the night before the event began. She earned a 3-0-2 record that week, taking 22 holes to finally fall to Moriya Jutanugarn on Saturday afternoon, ending her seemingly magical run at the LPGA Match-Play title. Dryburgh was one of five players from the round of 16 that went on to win later last season, capturing the TOTO Japan Classic title in November.
Lewis is one of the players in the field with the most match-play experience. She has played in the previous two editions of the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play with a 1-2-3 record and is a four-time United States Solheim Cup team member, earning a 5-10-1 record in her 16 career matches. Although she missed the cut at The Chevron Championship, it’s been a solid year for the 13-time LPGA Tour winner, who has earned two top-15 finishes in eight starts, including a tie for seventh at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Superstition Mountain.
*All times local
For a full list of the day-one, round-robin matches, please click here.