LAS VEGAS, May 25: India’s Aditi Ashok led for most part against French golfer Perrine Delacour but lost the last two holes to go down in the first set of matches at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play here.
It was a closely fought battle, where Aditi led for most part of the match. Aditi had five birdies and so did Delacour, but the latter added a sixth winning birdie on the 18th to outgun the Indian.
There are 64 players in the field who will be in action in three days of round-robin play. The winner from each of the 16 groups will advance to the knockout stage on the weekend.
Aditi, who has been in Top-5 in her last two starts, was never in deficit till the 17th as her rival kept fighting back. Aditi opened smartly and went 2-up in the first three holes, with birdies on the first and the third. The Frenchwoman rallied to win the fourth and eighth to tie the match.
Aditi again started the back nine with a birdie and won the 10th hole only to see Delacour get back the hole on 11th. Aditi again won the 13th and lost the 14th and yet again won the 15th.
With the 16th being halved with a bogey from both players on the Par-5, So, Aditi was 1-up with two to play. Once again the gritty Delacour won the 17th and then won the last hole to upstage the Indian.
Aditi will meet Caroline Inglis, who upset Jennifer Kupcho 4&3 in the other group match. Aditi will need to win to keep her hopes of advancing to the knockout stage.
Lilia Vu and Brooke Henderson, the two top 10 ranked players in the field, started with wins at Shadow Creek. Vu never trailed in a 4-and-3 victory over Lauren Hartlage. Henderson took the lead for good with a birdie on the par-5 ninth hole and relied on mistakes by Yaeeun Hong and won, 3 and 2.
Among other seeds Maja Stark of Sweden was 4-up through 10 holes only to lose the next four holes against Emma Talley. Stark went back ahead with a par to win the 15th and held on for a 2-up victory.
Celine Boutier, the No. 3 seed, was taken to 18 holes and won when Min Lee made double bogey on the 18th. It was among 13 of the 32 matches that ended on the 18th hole. (PTI)