Defending champion Suzann Pettersen was ousted by England’s Jodi Ewart in the first round of the LPGA Match Play Championship on Thursday, while World No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan barely advanced.
Ewart, ranked 62nd, upset the third-ranked Norwegian 3-and-1. Fourth-ranked Ai Miyazato of Japan, another top seed in her quarter of the 64-woman field, also made a first-match exit, losing 2-up to Colombian Mariajo Uribe.
Tseng, who has already won three times this year, struggled to defeat South Korea’s Jang Jeong 1-up, while World No. 2 Choi Na-yeon of South Korea outlasted compatriot Grace Park 2-up.
Pettersen won the first two holes with a par followed by a birdie and even after Ewart answered with birdies to win the fourth and fifth holes, she birdied the sixth to reclaim a 1-up lead.
However, Ewart took command on the back nine, winning the 11th when Pettersen bogeyed the hole and taking the par-three 12th and par-four 13th with birdies.
Pettersen answered with a par to take the par-four 14th, but Ewart birdied the par-three 16th and closed out the match with a birdie at the par-four 17th.
Tseng won four of the first six holes, three of them with pars, to leap into the early lead over 64th-ranked Jang, but the last qualifier in the field began the back nine with a par and birdie to halve her deficit to 2-down.
Tseng won the par-three 12th with a par, but Jang birdied the next three holes to square the match on the 16th tee. Tseng won the 16th with a par, then matched Jang’s pars on the final two holes to secure the victory.
Uribe birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th holes to take a 1-up edge on Miyazato and won the par-five 18th with a birdie to eliminate the Asian star.
South Korea’s Amy Yang beat Amy Hung of Taiwan 3-and-2, while Catriona Matthew knocked out Taiwan’s Candie Kung 3-and-1.
Also among those losing in the first round was Michelle Wie, who fell 3-and-2 to fellow American Mina Harigae.
Additional reporting by staff writer