Top seed Choi Na Yeon advanced to the second round of the $1.5 million LPGA Match Play Championship by beating Scotland’s Catriona Matthew 3 and 2 but second seed Shin Jiyai was eliminated. South Korea’s Choi, claiming the top seed by virtue of leading last year’s LPGA money list, was level with her European rival until a birdie at the par-4 15th and a bogey by Matthew at the par-3 16th gave her the victory.
Choi’s next opponent will be another British rival, 43rd seed Karen Stupples of England, who defeated South Korean 32nd seed Se Ri Pak 2 and 1. Meena Lee ousted fellow South Korean Shin 2 up, sending home the World No. 2 in her opening match. Lee was the 33rd seed, the toughest possible foe to be had from Tuesday’s blind draw of opponents after the top 32 were bracketed.
Shin and Lee halved 14 of the first 16 holes, Lee taking an edge with a birdie at the par-4 fourth and Shin, who never led, squaring the match when Lee began the back nine with a bogey. But after each woman parred five holes in a row, Lee birdied the par-4 17th and par-5 18th holes to claim victory and book a second-round date against another compatriot, 55th seed Mi Hyun Kim, who beat Korean MJ Hur 3 and 1. Play continues through Sunday’s semi-finals and final for the $375,000 top prize.