Ally Ewing won her second LPGA Tour title by defeating Sophia Popov in the inaugural Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play. Ewing had defeated former World Number one Ariya Jutanugarnand Danielle King on her way to the final. She beat Popov 2&1 in hot and humid conditions.
Ewing won the second hole with a par and then went two ahead with a birdie at the sixth. Popov halved the deficit with a birdie on the 11th hole. Ally Ewing then sunk a 60-foot putt to once again go two ahead on the LPGA Tour. On the 17th hole, Ewing hit her tee shot into a hazard on par three. Popov could not capitalize on the error hitting into a bunker. Her rescue shot then went across the green into the rough and then overhit the third shot way past the flagstick. Ewing putts nervously from three feet away to secure the title.
“It was exhausting. I think I was limping in on the finish line really,” Ewing said. “Fatigue was definitely a factor. Four rounds of stroke play, 18, 18, 18, 18 is a grueling week, especially if you’re in contention. This week was unlike any other. I’m definitely going to have to tape up the feet I think for another week, but well worth it.”
Jutanugarn finished in third place after Shanshan Feng conceded the match to get some rest before next week’s US Women’s Open. “I think I made the right decision for myself because I’m really, really tired after finishing six rounds in five days, let’s say four and a half days,” said Feng. “If I play 18 more, I don’t know how I will do. I might fall over on the course. I don’t think I should push myself that bad.”