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Altomare beats top-seeded Lee in LPGA Match-Play

Ryann O'Toole putts on the 17th holeduring the second day of round-robin play in the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play golf tournament at Shadow Greek on Thursday, May 26, 2022, in North Las Vegas, Nev. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Brittany Altomare rallied to beat top-seeded Minjee Lee 2 and 1 on Thursday in hot conditions at Shadow Creek in the second round of group play in the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play.

Three down after five holes and again after seven in triple-digit heat, Altomare cut her deficit to one at the turn with a birdie on No. 8 and an eagle on the par-5 ninth. The American pulled even with a par on the par-4 12th and took a 2-up lead with birdies on 13 and 14. She halved the next three with pars to end the match.

“I didn’t start off the way that I wanted to but, if I’ve learned anything from Solheim the last couple years, it’s you just can’t give up because you never know what’s going to happen in match play,” Altomare said.

The winners of the 16 four-player groups will advance to single elimination at the conclusion of round-robin play Friday. Altomare (1-1) will face Youngin Chun (0-2) on Friday, and Lee (1-1) will play Caroline Masson (2-0). Masson beat Chun 2 and 1.

Lee is trying to win for the second straight event after taking the Founders Cup on May 15 in New Jersey. The Australian is ranked fourth in the world.

“I wouldn’t say intimidated, but I just knew I had to play well,” Altomare said. “Obviously, she’s playing great and she’s an amazing player. There is not enough words to describe her golf game.”

Jodi Ewart Shadoff followed her opening 6-and-5 victory over defending champion Ally Ewing with a 3-and-2 decision over So Yeon Ryu (0-2). Ewing beat Jasmine Suwannapura (1-1) 3 and 2.

Madelene Sagstrom, Hye-Jin Choi, Eun-Hee Ji, Carlota Ciganda, Tiffany Chan, Jenny Shin, Lilia Vu, Gaby Lopez and Paula Reto also were 2-0.

Sagstrom edged Wei-Ling Hsu 1 up, Choi beat Aditi Ashok 3 and 2, Ji topped Las Vegas resident Danielle Kang 2 and 1, Ciganda beat Pauline Roussin-Bouchard 3 and 1, Reto topped Yealimi Noh 3 and 2, Chan defeated Alison Lee 4 and 3, Shin routed Hannah Green 5 and 3, Vu edged Ariya Jutanugarn 2 and 1, and Lopez topped Cheyenne Knight 3 and 2. Kang is 0-2.

Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., was soundly defeated by Moriya Jutanugarn 6 and 5.

Chevron Championship winner Jennifer Kupcho improved to 1-1, edging Lauren Stephenson 3 and 2.

The Associated Press

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