LPGA pro Shanshan Feng conceded her consolation match in the inaugural Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play on Sunday at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, citing a need to rest for an upcoming major and giving up more than $23,000 in the process.
Feng was one of four who made it to Sunday’s final day, but when she lost her morning semifinals match to Sophia Papov (1 up) she elected not to stick around for her consolation match against Ariya Jutanugarn.
“Next week is the U.S. Women’s Open,” Feng said, according to tweet from the LPGA’s media account. “I just want to be well-rested and protect myself.”
With Feng conceding the match, Jutanugarn pocketed $102,942.38 for third place, and Feng took $79,633.97 for fourth. It’s a difference of $23,308.41.
The first playing of the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play has followed the same format the PGA Tour uses for the World Golf Championships Match Play. A field of 64 plays one match each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The top 16 advance to the weekend where, for those who keep winning, a player would have two matches per day. Feng played bonus golf on Saturday, too. Her Round of 16 match went 22 holes, and her quarterfinals match that afternoon went 19 holes.
The desert climate hasn’t helped players. Las Vegas temps have peaked in the mid to high 90s all week.
Ally Ewing, who beat Jutanugarn in their semifinals match, talked about mental fatigue and called her energy level “pretty low” as she spoke to the media prior to her finals match on Sunday.
“Yeah, let’s just say it’s really hot,” she said. “I’m going through my shoes because I’m sweating, and I’ve never had my feet this taped up just from all the elevation, side-hill walks, uphill walks, hot temperatures, 36-hole days. That’s not something we do very often on the LPGA. It’s just a little bit different of a grind this week. But certainly when you signed up for the week you said, Hey, if I can play all those holes then it’s going to be well worth it.”
The LPGA heads from Las Vegas to San Francisco, as the U.S. Women’s Open, the second major of the year, begins on Thursday at The Olympic Club.
Feng, 31, has won 10 times in her LPGA career, including one major, the Women’s PGA Championship in 2012.