‘Last year’s runner-up’ Huroue reaches LPGA Match Play quarter-finals…faces Maguire

Ayaka Furue (Japan), who was denied the title last year by Ji-Hee Ji (37-Hanwha Q CELLS), has reached the semi-finals of the Bank of Hope Match Play ($1.5 million) on the US Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour.

Furue held a two-shot lead over Celine Boutier (FRA) through 17 holes to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament at Shadow Creek Golf Club (Par 72, 6804 yards) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on 28 August.

Furue won the Scottish Open in July last year, her first victory on the LPGA Tour. She has eight career victories on the Japan Ladies Professional Golf (JLPGA) Tour.스포츠토토

Furue, who had to settle for runner-up honours in the final of this event last year after losing to Ji-hee Ji in the final, continued her strong start to the tournament. She won all three of her group stage matches and then went on to win both the round of 16 and quarter-finals, giving her a chance to win the title for the first time in a year.

After defeating Maya Stark (SWE) by two holes in her previous round of 16 match, Huroue struggled against Boutier.

Down by one through the 13th (par-3), she levelled at the 14th (par-4). From the back, Furue pulled away and birdied the 16th and 17th to secure a thrilling come-from-behind victory and a place in the last four.

Furue will face Riona Maguire (IRL), who is also unbeaten in five matches at this event.

Maguire, who recorded her first LPGA Tour victory at the Drive-On Championship in February last year, has been in dominant form in this tournament, progressing from the group stage through to the round of 16 and quarter-finals.

She defeated Perrine Delacour (FRA) by five shots in the round of 16 and Lindsey Weaver Wright (USA) by three shots in the quarter-finals.

In the other semi-final, Pajari Annanarukarn (THA) and Lynn Grant (SWE) met.

Ananarukarn, who reached the round of 16 in straight sets in the group stage, defeated Cheyenne Knight (USA) and Carlota Zarzada (Spain) to reach the last four.

Annanarukarn is now 2-0 on the LPGA Tour. Grant will be looking for her first win on the tour at this event.

Meanwhile, South Korea entered eight players in the tournament, including last year’s winner, Ji Hee Lee, but none of them made it to the last 16.

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