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Kim topples Ariya for matchplay title

(Photo: Getty Images)
World Number Three Ariya Jutanugarn put up a brave fight but was unable to overcome an early three-hole deficit as Korea’s Sei Young Kim claimed the Lorena Ochoa Match Play event in Mexico.

Jutanugarn was on the back foot early in the championship match as she lost each of the first three holes to birdies from her opponent.

The Thai star stopped the bleeding with six straight halves and cut the lead to two when Kim made bogey at the 10th but was back to 3 down when she lost the 12th to a birdie.

Kim stumbled on the way to the clubhouse with a bogey at 14 to cut her lead to two then hit her tee shot out of bounds on the 17th to make the difference just one and it looked as though Jutanugarn may steal the ascendancy.

But a solid par at the 18th was enough to force a halve and a 1 up victory for the 2015 rookie of the year, the win Kim’s sixth on the LPGA Tour.

In the consolation match, American Michelle Wie looked on track to steamroll Mi Jung Hur when she went 5 up through the opening 10 holes but in typical match play fashion, things turned quickly.

Back-to-back birdies from Hur at 11 and 12 switched the momentum in her direction and when Wie stumbled at the 13th with a bogey, the margin was back to two.

Another bogey at 15 from Wie meant the deficit was just one and when the American faltered again at the 17th the match was all square.

From there it took a further four holes to determine a winner, Hur claiming the match with a birdie at the 22nd hole.

It was a bitterly disappointing result for Wie who has been in much better form in 2017 without yet being able to get across the line.

PLAYER PROFILE: NELLY KORDA

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Rod Morri
About The Author : Rod Morri

Rod is an award-winning golf journalist with more than 20 years experience and has covered everything from major tournaments to junior golf at the local level. Rod began his life in the media as a daily news reporter for News Limited in Sydney.

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