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Leona Maguire pegged back but matchplay progression still to play for

The Cavan woman now needs to beat US Solheim Cup star Christina Kim.

Leona Maguire: needs a big week.
Leona Maguire: needs a big week.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

LEONA MAGUIRE WAS on track to book her spot in the next round of the LPGA Match-Play at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas overnight, but the Cavan woman still has work to do. 

Maguire led Jennifer Kupcho — and was five up through seven holes — but the highly-rated American ultimately fought back to square the match. 

The pair now have 1.5 points each after two matches, with just one player to move on from this group. The Irish woman faces Christina Kim today needing a big victory. 

Good friends Danielle Kang and Lizette Salas won to set up a showdown for a last 16 berth, meanwhile. 

Kang never trailed in a 2 & 1 victory over Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, although her 3-up lead through 13 holes dwindled to one as Sagstrom won the 14th and 16th with birdies.

Kang, a Las Vegas native, finished with par on the tough par-three 17th to secure the win.

“I think we were trying to minimize as much mistakes as possible. We were making a lot of mistakes out there from beginning to end,” Kang said. “She made some good birdies coming in and all I kind of tried to do was keep it steady as much as I can, but there was just so many bogeys out there for us and so many mistakes.”

Three matches on the last day of round robin play on Friday are winner-take-all: Kang v Salas and Moriya Jutanugarn v Minjee Lee and Stacy Lewis v Patty Tavatanakit.

Thailand’s Moriya thumped American Jaye Marie Green 6 & 5 on Thursday while Australia’s Lee beat Cheyenne Knight 4 & 3.

Lewis tied Australian Sarah Kemp while Thailand’s Patty beat South Korean Lee Mi-Hyang 2 & 1.

World number one Jin Young-ko survived an 18-hole showdown with Caroline Masson, losing a 3-up lead through 15 holes but beating the German 1-up with a birdie at 18 for her second straight round robin win.

World number two Park In-bee, the South Korean Hall of Famer who lives in the Las Vegas area, followed her opening tie with a 5 & 3 win over France’s Celine Boutier.

“Just trying to play a bit better than the day before,” Park said.

Third-ranked Kim Sei-young of South Korea claimed a tie by winning the 18th for the second straight day.

She shared the point with China’s Liu Yu.

To reach the round of 16 she must beat Brittany Altomare on Friday, then beat her again in a playoff for top spot in their group.

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Altomare birdied 18 for a 1-up victory over Japan’s Ayako Uehara, her second round robin win.

World number five Brooke Henderson was knocked out of contention with a second straight defeat when South African Ashleigh Buhai birdied the par-five 18th for a 1-up win over the Canadian.

England’s Bronte Law — a European Solheim Cup standout — wrapped up her 2 & 1 victory over Austin Ernst in impressive fashion — with a walk-off ace at the par-three 17th.

© – AFP, 2021

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

Bernard Jackman and Murray Kinsella join Gavan Casey to discuss their roles in the rugby media, the concept of ‘bias’, punditry preferences, the art of co-commentary, new-age online analysts and much more

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