May 29th, 2021
Bronte Law on the charge at LPGA Match-Play
Solheim Cup star one of four Europeans in last 16
Photography: Getty Images
Law's 6&5 win on Friday over Annie Park was tied for the widest margin of victory on the final day of group play. After a tie with Amy Olson on Wednesday and a 2&1 win over Austin Ernst on Thursday, Law moved into the Round of 16 with a big statement that she’s ready to take on Team USA at Inverness Club.
“You still have to execute the shots, but obviously feeling that little bit of momentum shift is what you have to grab when you're in match play,” said Law, who won eight of 13 holes in her match with Park.
“I can sense it when it's there. I think that's one of the things that I like the most, it's the quality that you kind of need to have in that situation.”
Law’s run against her American foes will continue on Saturday when she takes on Las Vegas’ own Danielle Kang. Kang handily beat her close friend Lizette Salas on Friday, winning the first hole to immediately grab a 1-up lead and cruising to a bittersweet 4&3 win.
“Of course I want to win whoever I'm playing, but it's just different. It's a different feeling, especially with Lizette,” said Kang, who has yet to trail in the competition.
“Every time she missed a putt, any time she missed I'd go, ‘Oh, go in.’ My heart just kind of dropped because I don't ever want her to miss putts. I'm not wishing that on her or anything.”
Kang is the only player who went 3-0-0 in the group-play format and with her hometown knowledge of Shadow Creek, she will be a formidable opponent for Law. But Law is a fiery competitor, particularly when a head-to- head win is at stake.
“She is American, so I'm running with that trend at the moment. Obviously, Danielle is one of the best players in the world, so there is nothing more to say than that,” added Law with a wry smile.
“I'm still going to go out and play the game that I've been playing. I think when I'm on, I'm good enough to beat anyone. And if you can't back yourself, then that's all I can say.”
Unheralded American Jenny Coleman continued her lucky Vegas roll, draining a par putt on the 18th in the day’s final match to tie with Ashleigh Buhai and reach the Round of 16. Coleman built a 3-up lead through six holes, but Buhai chipped away at the deficit and tied the match with a birdie at No. 11. Buhai nearly chipped in for birdie from the front of the green at 18 to force a playoff, but two pars gave the group victory to Coleman.
“We'd been back and forth all day hitting like good shot, getting rewarded, hitting a good shot, not getting rewarded. You name it, it could happen,” said Coleman, who will face Ally Ewing in the Round of 16. “Just being very patient and hoping you get a little luck.”
Six matches went to sudden-death playoffs to set Saturday’s match-play bracket. The longest playoff saw Jenny Shin knock out her fellow Las Vegas resident Alison Lee with a par on the fourth playoff hole. Anna Nordqvist made a two-putt par on the first playoff hole to eliminate No. 1 seed Jin Young Ko, after beating her by a 5&3 margin earlier in the day.
“I played really well this morning. She is a World No. 1, so I knew she was going to be a really tough match,” said Nordqvist. “Part of me felt like I didn't have anything to lose because I knew I had to get my point to have a chance at a potential playoff, so just very proud of myself.”
With a par on the second playoff hole, Brittany Altomare reached the Round of 16 over Sei Young Kim, who won the 2017 Lorena Ochoa Match-Play and is the Tour’s most recent match-play winner.
England's Mel Reid, who is looking a shoo-in to return to the European Solheim team in September prevailed over potential teammate Azahara Munoz with a birdie on the first playoff hole.
GROUP-PLAY DAY THREE RESULTS
Group 1 – Anna Nordqvist def. Jin Young Ko, 5 and 3; Caroline Masson tied with Natalie Gulbis
Group 2 – Inbee Park def. Gaby Lopez, 2 and 1; Celine Boutier def. Jennifer Chang, 3 and 1
Group 3 – Yu Liu def. Ayako Uehara, 4 and 3; Sei Young Kim def. Brittany Altomare, 2 and 1
Group 4 – Brooke Henderson tied with Angela Stanford; Ashleigh Buhai tied with Jenny Coleman
Group 5 – Madelene Sagstrom tied with Albane Valenzuela; Danielle Kang def. Lizette Salas, 4 and 3
Group 6 – Jenny Shin def. Alison Lee, 4 and 2; Eun-Hee Ji def. Megan Khang, 1 up
Group 7 – Patty Tavatanakit def. Stacy Lewis, 5 and 4; Mi Hyang Lee tied with Sarah Kemp
Group 8 – Cheyenne Knight def. Jaye Marie Green, 1 up; Minjee Lee def. Moriya Jutanugarn, 4 and 3
Group 9 – Mel Reid def. Hannah Green, 1 up; Azahara Munoz def. Gerina Piller, 2 and 1 Group 10 – Nasa Hataoka tied with Mi Jung Hur; Jasmine Suwannapura def. Jing Yan, 4 and 3
Group 11 – Mirim Lee def. So Yeon Ryu, 4 and 3; Eun-Hee Ji def. Ryann O’Toole, 1 up
Group 12 – Austin Ernst def. Amy Olson, 5 and 4; Bronte Law def. Annie Park, 6 and 5
Group 13 – Ally Ewing def. Jennifer Kupcho, 1 up; Christina Kim def. Leona Maguire, 1 up
Group 14 – Shanshan Feng def. Jeongeun Lee6, 1 up; Pajaree Anannarukarn def. Brittany Lincicome, 2 and 1
Group 15 – Sophia Popov def. Sung Hyun Park, 6 and 5; Su Oh def. Hee Young Park, 2 up
Group 16 – Ariya Jutanugarn tied with Carlota Ciganda; Sarah Schmelzel def. Lauren Stephenson, 3 and 2
Group 3 – Brittany Altomare eliminated Sei Young Kim with a par on the second playoff hole
Group 6 – Jenny Shin eliminated Alison Lee with a par on the fourth playoff hole
Group 9 – Mel Reid eliminated Azahara Munoz with a birdie on the first playoff hole
Group 11 – Eun-Hee Ji eliminated So Yeon Ryu with a par on the second playoff hole
Group 16 – Ariya Jutanugarn eliminated Sarah Schmelzel with a par on the first playoff hole
FINAL GROUP-PLAY POINTS (first player listed is group winner)
Group 2 – Inbee Park, 2.5; Celine Boutier, 2; Gaby Lopez, 1; Jennifer Chang, .5
Group 3 – Brittany Altomare, 2; Sei Young Kim, 2; Yu Liu, 1.5; Ayako Uehara, .5
Group 4 – Jenny Coleman, 2.5; Ashleigh Buhai, 1.5; Angela Stanford, 1.5; Brooke Henderson, .5
Group 5 – Danielle Kang, 3; Lizette Salas, 2; Madelene Sagstrom, .5; Albane Valenzuela, .5
Group 6 – Jenny Shin, 2; Alison Lee, 2; Megan Khang, 1; Hyo Joo Kim, 1
Group 7 – Patty Tavatanakit, 2.5; Sarah Kemp, 1.5; Stacy Lewis, 1.5; Mi Hyang Lee, .5
Group 8 – Minjee Lee, 2.5; Moriya Jutanugarn, 2; Cheyenne Knight, 1; Jaye Marie Green, .5
Group 9 – Mel Reid, 2; Azahara Munoz, 2; Hannah Green, 1; Gerina Piller, 1
Group 10 – Nasa Hataoka, 2.5; Jasmine Suwannapura, 2; Mi Jung Hur, 1; Jing Yan, .5
Group 11 – Eun-Hee Ji, 2; So Yeon Ryu, 2; Mirim Lee, .5; Ryann O’Toole, .5
Group 12 – Bronte Law, 2.5; Amy Olson, 1.5; Austin Ernst, 1; Annie Park, 1
Group 13 – Ally Ewing, 2; Jennifer Kupcho, 1.5; Leona Maguire, 1.5; Christina Kim, 1
Group 14 – Shanshan Feng, 2; Pajaree Anannarukarn, 1.5; Jeongeun Lee6, 1.5; Brittany Lincicome, 1
Group 15 – Sophia Popov, 2.5; Hee Young Park, 1.5; Su Oh, 1; Sung Hyun Park, 1
Group 16 – Ariya Jutanugarn, 2; Sarah Schmelzel, 2; Lauren Stephenson, 1.5; Carlota Ciganda, 0