Sat, May 19, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Pettersen dumped out, Tseng struggles through

AFP, Gladstone, New Jersey

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

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