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Long and arduous first day for Tseng
May 17, 2012

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng had her hands full during Thursday’s first round match against Jeong Jang. After Tseng got off to an early 4 up lead thru six holes it look as if the number one seed would have an early path into the second round.

Jang was determined to put up a fight and that is just what she did. Jang, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour clawed her way back to get the match to even thru 15 holes. Tseng then pared 16 to take a 1 up lead and after the two tied 17, the match was forced to 18.

As the duo walked down the 18th hole, an audience that included many LPGA players began to form to see what would unfold. The duo exchanged pars on the par-5 18th and Tseng punched her ticket to Friday’s second round.

“I just can't believe I played until 18 holes today,” said Tseng. “I mean, it was lots of pressure at the end, and we almost go to a playoff on No. 1.”

Despite needing all 18 holes to advance, Tseng admitted she played solid on Thursday despite a few putts not dropping.

“I played very well today, actually,” said Tseng. “I hit it good today, driving, hitting lots of good shots, but I just can't putt. I didn't make anything, and I only make one birdie from three feet on No. 2 and that's it. It's a tough day for me today and I feel I'm pretty lucky to win a match today. Hopefully tomorrow it's another new day and hopefully tomorrow I'll drop more putts.”

It’s been a long season for Rolex Rankings No. 3 Suzann Pettersen. Although she has consistently placed in the top-25 in each tournament so far, she has only broken into the top-10 twice with a solo sixth place at LPGA LOTTE Championship and tie for 10th at the HSBC LPGA Brasil Cup.

Coming back to Hamilton Farm Golf Club as defending champ may have given Pettersen the confidence she needed to burst through her slump, but falling short to No. 62 seed Jodi Ewart wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. She just wasn’t on her A-game.

“I just played awful from the fairway to the green,” Pettersen said. “I missed more greens today than I have all year. Putted pretty good, kept me in it. I had a pretty good shot into 11 and it kind of turned around for her. I hit a perfect shot and it spun off completely. I made two bogeys in a row. I just wasn't on today, to be honest.”

On the scoreboard, Natalie Gulbis’ 1 up victory over Mika Miyazato at the Sybase Match Play Championship on Thursday might seem routine. But the scorecard reveals it was the best comeback of the day at the season’s only match play event. Gulbis was 4 down through 10 holes before mounting a massive charge, winning six of the last eight holes to defeat Miyazato. “Last year I actually had Suzann Pettersen 4-down and she came back and beat me in the first round. So I had the reverse, and, you know, with match play you just don’t give up until you run out of holes and it’s just a fun mentality,” she said. Gulbis has two top-10 finishes in her last three events including a tie for eighth at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Many are in shock as several top-seeded players were knocked off the bracket today. A few of these matches include Jodi Ewart’s 3&1 victory over defending Sybase Match Play champ Suzann Pettersen, Jennifer Johnson’s 3&1 win over Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome’s 2&1 loss to Ryann O’Toole and Mariajo Uribe taking out Ai Miyazato on the last hole.

Although Creamer has an impressive match-play record after finishing with a tie for fifth at last year’s event and competing on her fourth Solheim Cup team in 2011, she shrugs off her loss and gives credit to her opponent.

“That’s sports, that’s golf,” Creamer said. “Match-play is a funny game. Jennifer started off so strong, I was playing fine, I was three down and I got it squared off on the turn. She made a good birdie on 10 and then I birdied 11. It was just kind of a battle. It’s unfortunate for me but she played well so I can’t take that from her. I wish I would have put more pressure on her coming down the stretch but that’s the way match-play is.”

SYBASE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
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