Eun-Hee Ji wins LPGA Match-Play, gets US Women’s Open spot

May 29, 2022, 6:18 AM | Updated: 7:11 pm

Eun-Hee Ji waves to the gallery on the fourth hole during the quarterfinals of the LPGA Bank of Hop...

Eun-Hee Ji waves to the gallery on the fourth hole during the quarterfinals of the LPGA Bank of Hope Match Play golf tournament at Shadow Creek on Saturday, May 28, 2022, in North Las Vegas, Nev. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

(Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Eun-Hee Ji won the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play on Sunday for a spot next week in the U.S. Women’s Open, beating Ayaka Furue 3 and 2 in cooler conditions at Shadow Creek.

Ji, the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open winner at Saucon Valley, took the last spot at Pine Needles with her sixth LPGA Tour victory and first since 2019.

“I’m so excited to win the tournament,” Ji said. “Then going to next week, this is the way to be going into next week. I’m so exciting.”

At 36, Ji is the oldest South Korean winner in LPGA Tour history. Ranked 83rd in the world, she was seeded 36th in the 64-player field.

“I don’t feel old,” Ji said.

The temperature was in the high-80s Sunday after 100-degree heat the first three days and temperatures in the mid-90s Saturday. After a windy morning for the semifinals, it was somewhat calmer in the afternoon.

“This wind affect a lot,” Ji said. “It’s really hard golf course today, especially from the tee shot. Really have to make sure keep it in the fairway. “

Ji was asked if she was more more physically tired or mentally exhausted after playing seven matches in five days, four in the last two days.

“Both. My feet almost not moving last couple holes and my back hurts, starting to hurt,” Ji said. “Really tired now.”

Furue is winless on the LPGA Tour. Ranked 27th, the 22-year-old Japanese player was seeded 10th.

“It was definitely tough conditions out there,” Furue said. “I was having to use my brain a lot with the wind being so strong. Just not only physically draining, but mentally draining as well.”

Both players struggled early, combining for three par wins and three bogey halves on the first seven holes.

After making bogeys on the first two par 5s to fall a hole behind, Ji birdied the par-3 eighth to tie it. She holed out from 92 yards for eagle on the par-5 ninth and won the par-4 10th with a par for a 2-up lead.

Furue took the par-4 11th with her lone birdie of the match, and Ji countered with a par win on the par-4 12th. They halved the next three holes and Ji ended it with a par win on the par-5 16th — holing a 10-footer before Furue missed her par try.

In the windy morning semifinals, Ji beat Andrea Lee 4 and 3, and Furue edged Lilia Vu 2 and 1. Vu beat Lee 4 and 2 in the third-place match for the former UCLA player’s best finish on the tour.

“Exhausted. That’s all I can say,” Vu said. “It’s tiring. My back is barely hanging in there. Going to have to do something before the next week.”

Ji opened group play Wednesday with a 4-and-2 victory over 29th-seeded Pajaree Anannarukarn, beat fourth-seeded Danielle Kang 2 and 1 on Thursday, and tied 61st-seeded Kelly Tan on Friday to win the group. On Saturday, Ji beat 20th-seeded Hye-Jin Choi 2 and 1 in the round of 16 and routed 12th-seeded Madelene Sagstrom 7 and 6 in the quarterfinals.

“Big thing is, I finished early yesterday,” Ji said. “I have enough rest than other player. That that makes it a little bit easier to me.”

Ji had a simple plan for the U.S. Women’s Open.

“Get there, rest first, and then see the course and then just do same thing as this week,” Ji said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Eun-Hee Ji wins LPGA Match-Play, gets US Women’s Open spot