Michelle reaches fi­nal four

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MEX­ICO CITY: The Lorena Ochoa Match Play tour­na­ment is down to the fi­nal four and Amer­i­can Michelle Wie is one of the sur­vivors.

Michelle won two matches on Satur­day at Club de Golf Mex­ico in Mex­ico City and ad­vanced to the semi-fi­nals of the LPGA Tour’s first match-play event since 2012.

Join­ing Michelle in the semi­fi­nals are Ariya Ju­tanu­garn of Thai­land and South Kore­ans Kim Sei-young and Hur Mi-jung.

Ariya, ranked No 3 in the world, edged Cristie Kerr with a par on the 19th hole in their af­ter­noon match; Mi-jung posted a 1-up win over Shan­shan Feng of China and Sei-young rolled to a 5-and-4 vic­tory over Karine Icher of France.

Michelle hasn’t won since the 2014 US Women’s Open but has put her­self in po­si­tion to end the drought af­ter pre­vail­ing in a tight quar­ter-fi­nal matchup in Satur­day’s com­pe­ti­tion.

In an af­ter­noon match, Michelle pre­vailed against fel­low Amer­i­can An­gel Yin, clos­ing out the tight bat­tle with a birdie on the 20th hole. Michelle came from be­hind twice against the 19year-old An­gel, an LPGA Tour rookie who at one point was 4up.

“I think it was the def­i­ni­tion of sur­vival out there,” Michelle said. “She played so good.”

Michelle’s next op­po­nent in the semi-fi­nals will be Ariya.

Ariya got past the 39-year-old Cristie, who lost last week in Texas in a six-hole play­off, af­ter let­ting a three-hole lead slip away be­fore re­cov­er­ing.

“The greens here are re­ally hard to read, the speed, ev­ery­thing,” Ariya said. “Cristie hit some re­ally good putts, but they just didn’t go in.”

Feng missed a birdie putt on the 18th hole that could have closed out her match against Mi­jung. In­stead, Mi-jung won on the first ex­tra hole and now faces Seiy­oung.

“Be­fore to­day, we talked a lit­tle bit,” Sei-young said of a pos­si­ble matchup with Mi-jung. “If you win to­day, you might play with me to­mor­row, so ‘see you to­mor­row,’ she said. It came true.”

In the morn­ing round, Mi-jung knocked out top-ranked Ly­dia Ko with a 1-up vic­tory and pre­vailed by the same re­sult in the af­ter­noon against Feng. Reuters

Michelle Wie

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