Kang beats Salas to advance at LPGA Match Play

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NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Danielle Kang had Lizette Salas over to the home Thursday evening to observe “Buddies: The Reunion,” then despatched her packing Friday within the LPGA Match Play.

Kang received the pleasant showdown 4 and three for a quarterfinal spot on one other sizzling afternoon at Shadow Creek.

“To be trustworthy with you, it does not really feel that nice,” Kang mentioned. “I actually needed to win. I needed to advance and play this weekend. … However all in all, any time she missed a putt my coronary heart simply dropped as a result of I would like her to make them. I do know she’s enjoying in opposition to me and it was positively totally different. I knew this was going to be very anxious for me.”

An envoy for course proprietor MGM Resorts, Kang received the opening gap with a par, took Nos. 6 and seven with birdies and No. 8 with a par for a 4-up lead. Salas received 10 and 11 with pars, Kang took 12 with a birdie and ended it with a par on 14.

“I made some actually nice putts at present,” Kang mentioned. “I had some loopy putts go in.”

U.S. Solheim Cup teammate Salas was coming off her finest end of the yr, a tie for fifth final week within the Pure Silk Championship in Virginia.

“She’s my teammate and all the time has my again and I’ve obtained hers,” Kang mentioned. “I am unable to wait to play together with her as a teammate once more.”

Kang will face Bronte Regulation, a 6 and 5 winner over Annie Park.

Second-ranked Inbee Park, additionally an space resident, beat Gaby Lopez 2 and 1 to arrange a match with Sophia Popov.

“Day-after-day is getting a bit of bit higher with the sport,” Park mentioned. “And making little extra birdies day by day, so I really feel like my recreation is coming alongside. It feels good to maneuver on and play the weekend.”

Popov routed Sung Hyun Park 6 and 5.

“I believe that is the primary aim, to make it out of the group part, make it to the weekend,” Popov mentioned. “I took care of enterprise in that means.”

High-ranked Jin Younger Ko and No. 3 Sei Younger Kim dropped out in playoffs.

Anna Nordqvist beat Ko 5 and 4 to power a playoff with Ko that the Swede received on the primary gap. Kim edged Brittany Altomare 2 and 1 to power a playoff with the American, then fell on the second gap.

ANA Inspiration winner Patty Tavatanakit beat Stacy Lewis 5 and 4 to advance. After Lewis birdied the ninth to drag inside a gap, Tavatanakit received 4 of the following 5 to finish the match. They entered the day tied for the group lead.

“It is an excellent feeling strolling off the course at present solely enjoying 14 holes,” Tavatanakit mentioned. “Lengthy weekend forward, so plenty of positives right here. … Simply hold making pars. This course is such a beast that for those who make par ultimately you will get your level.”

Ariya Jutanugarn beat Sarah Schmelzel on the primary gap of a playoff after tying Carlota Ciganda.

Whereas some high U.S. gamers skipped the first-year occasion to organize for the U.S. Ladies’s Open subsequent week at Olympic in San Francisco, Kang mentioned she is not wanting forward.

“Loopy because it sounds, I am not enthusiastic about subsequent week in any respect,” Kang mentioned. “I been actually wanting ahead to this week because it was introduced. … It is simply been actually thrilling to play at a house golf course. I’ve by no means accomplished that.”

Kang received in consecutive weeks final summer time in Ohio within the LPGA Tour’s return from the coronavirus pandemic. She has 5 tour victories — the primary in 2017 within the main KPMG Ladies’s PGA Championship — and confirmed her match-play prowess in U.S. Ladies’s Beginner wins in 2010 and 2011.

“I simply actually like having the ability to concentrate on one individual,” Kang mentioned. “I do know that plenty of occasions once we play stroke play we’ve to play to the sector, which implies it’s a must to focus in your recreation and do what you must do and see the place you find yourself. Right here, I simply should beat one individual and so they’re proper in entrance of me. It is simpler to be aggressive and assault and do what I have to do.”

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