It was Frenchwoman Perrine Delacour providing one of the bigger surprises of the day on Friday at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM Rewards, advancing from pod 10 after defeating Caroline Inglis 3 and 2. Inglis struck first, making birdie on the first hole to take a 1-up lead right out of the gate, but Delacour didn’t falter, winning holes 3 and 4 to flip the match and go 1-up. Delacour moved to 2-up with a birdie on the par-5, 7th hole and Inglis answered, going birdie-birdie on Nos. 8 and 9 to tie the match with nine holes to play. Delacour won the 10th and Inglis won the 11th to once again square the match, but a Delacour birdie on the par-4, 12th hole gave her a 1-up lead heading to the final six holes. The pair tied Nos. 13 and 14 and it was a one-two punch from Delacour as the 29-year-old won holes 15 and 16 to close out Inglis and move on to the round of 16.
“I'm pretty happy about it. I mean, I wasn't playing my best golf all week. I was coming from a long week at home in France last week so I was pretty tired. Pretty happy the way I played today and the way I got into the 16,” Delacour said. “It's such a relief to go through to 16 without having a playoff. We know playoff is never easy, so now it's a new game. In match play everything can happen, so I'm going to play my game and see where it's going.”
Having struggled some in recent years, Delacour seems to have found some form so far in 2023. The Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play is her seventh start of the year, and in her six previous appearances this season, she’s only missed one cut and recorded three top-20 finishes, including a top-11 finish at the DIO Implant LA Open. As she looks ahead to the weekend and the potential 72 holes on tap, Delacour plans to stick with what’s been working for her and put a premium on getting as much rest as she possibly can.
“I will keep doing the same strategy. It's match play so you just want to put the pressure when you can on the other person,” she said. “I’ll try to be prepared. I'm mostly going to be resting a lot. I'm lucky. I just finished. It's 2 p.m. so I can rest most of the day and be prepared for tomorrow. But I know it's going to be mostly about the rest. Rest is going to be important during the weekend.”