Taiwan’s Yani Tseng won her opening-round match at the -Sybase Match Play Championship on Thursday and was joined in the next round of the event by her less-heralded compatriot Amy Hung, who scored an upset victory.
The world No. 1 Tseng, seeded fourth in the rare match play tournament, defeated Marcy Hart of the US 3-and-2 after birdieing the 15th and 16th holes at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in New Jersey.
“To shoot 2-under is pretty good, but the match I needed to stay very patient and she missed some putts on the back nine,” Tseng said. “That’s how it is. It was pretty tough.”
The 22-year-old, who rose to the top ranking after winning the Australian Ladies Masters in February, was voted as the top favorite in a pre-match online voting on the LPGA’s Web site.
She will next play the 64-player event’s lowest seed, American Jenny Suh.
Hung, the 45th seed, topped 28th seeded Vicky Hurst of the US 2-and-1 to set up an even more challenging encounter with fifth-seeded Suzann Pettersen of Norway.
The other Taiwanese golfer in the field, Candie Kung, failed to advance after falling to American Angela Stanford 4-and-2.
Of the nine top-10 players competing at the US$1.5 million event, South Korean Shin Ji-yai was the only one to lose. She was upset 2-up by compatriot Meena Lee, who birdied the 17th and 18th to seal the match.
Aside from Tseng and Pettersen, Michelle Wie, Christie Kerr, Ai Miyazato, Choi Na-yeon, Karrie Webb, and I.K. Kim also advanced.
Meanwhile, Paula Creamer and Karrie Webb had impressive first-round victories in leading nine of the top 11 seeds into the second round of the Sybase Match Play Championship at the Hamilton Farm Golf Club on Thursday.
Creamer and Webb’s wins only led to questions about how the world’s No. 8 and No. 10 players are being forced to play this early instead of a later round.
The answer is that the seedings are based on last year’s earnings on the USLPGA Tour, so forget that Webb has won twice this year and Creamer is the defending US Open champion.
“We shouldn’t be meeting for another couple of rounds, but they did it the way they did it and it’s still going to be a great match,” said Webb, who was 5-under-par in her 3-and-2 win over fellow Australian Sarah Kemp.
Creamer, who won six of the first 10 holes in steamrolling Aree Song of South Korea 5-and-4, expects a fun match, especially against someone she considers a mentor.
“She challenges me,” the 24-year-old Creamer said of the 36-year-old Hall of Famer she refers to as “Webbie.”
“She gives me grief, talks about my pink balls, stuff like that. Those are the people that I really like to be around, that can take it, but they also give it pretty well,” Creamer added.
The Creamer-Kerr meeting in the second round isn’t the only star attraction.
Michelle Wie will face former US Open champion Anna Nordqvist of Sweden. Wie was only 1-up through 12 before posting a 4-and-3 win over Beatriz Recari of Spain. Nordqvist won by the same margin over Haeji Kang of South Korea.
“It was a bit of a struggle for me personally,” said Wie, who won the final three holes — the last two on bogeys by Recari.