Ariya Jutanugarn nearly ran out of gas Saturday in her quarterfinal match against Minjee Lee at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. But Jutanugarn, 4 up by the turn, managed to ride it out, and with a spot in the Sunday’s semifinal, would need to make it through another 36-hole day to earn a second win on the LPGA in the past three starts (she won the Honda LPGA Thailand at the start of the month).

The eight-woman quarterfinal bracket at Shadow Creek was dominated by twentysomethings not very far removed, really, from head-to-head play in summer U.S. Golf Association championships. In fact, in 2012, Jutanugarn and Lee met in the semifinals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior. Lee won that one, and went on to win the title at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, California.

On Sunday morning, Jutanugarn draws Ally Ewing, a first-time winner on the LPGA last season at the Drive On Championship at Reynolds Lake Oconee who also drew on some memories in her quarterfinal match against Danielle Kang on Saturday afternoon.

Ewing and Kang, both members of the 2019 U.S. Solheim Cup team, went head-to-head down the stretch at the Drive On with Ewing coming out on top by a shot.

At Shadow Creek, Ewing trailed much of the match, but went 1 up at No. 14 and held on to that advantage to close out Kang on the 18th green.

In a battle of major champions, Sophia Popov defeated Patty Tavatanakit, 3 and 2, on Saturday evening to advance to the final match. Popov went up early with a birdie on No. 2 and slowly increased that advantage to eventually take down Tavatanakit on the 16th hole.

Popov will meet Shanshan Feng in the semifinals after Feng defeated Eun-Hee Ji in 19 holes in the last quarterfinal match of the day.

The Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play started with a field of 64 players, divided into 16 groups of four. After after three days of round-robin matches, only 16 players advanced to the weekend to compete on a single-elimination bracket. The semifinal and final matches will take place on Sunday.



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