27 May 2021 | Professional golf |

Kemp matches Thai superstar

by Martin Blake

Sarah Kemp LPGA image
Sarah Kemp tied with Patty Tavatanakit in the round-robin at the LPGA match play. Photo: Getty

Sarah Kemp fell just short of a big win over a top-10 world player in Las Vegas today as the LPGA match play championship began at Shadow Creek. Australia's Kemp, 35, who is having her best-ever season, tied with the world No. 10 Patty Tavatanakit from Thailand in the first of three round-robin matches that will determine a top 16 to go into the weekend's knockout section. Tavatanakit birdied the final hole to tie the match after Kemp was two-up through 15 holes of their encounter. None of the other three Australians competing this week could manage a win, with Minjee Lee squeezing out of her encounter with American Jaye Marie Green with a tie, and both Hannah Green and Su Oh on the losing end. All four Australians will have two more matches in the round-robin stage to try to qualify for the weekend. Kemp made five birdies in her great match against Tavatanakit, the brilliant 21-year-old Thai player who recently won her first major, the ANA Inspiration. But a par at the par-five 18th was not enough to hang on for the win. Top-seeded in her group, Green lost 3 and 2 to Amerian Gerina Piller, who went on a rampage through the middle of the match winning five of seven holes, starting with an eagle at the par-five seventh. Lee had to come from one down with two to play to pinch half a point for her tie against Jaye Marie Green, while Oh suffered for a tough draw against former world No. 1 Sung Hyun Park, and lost 3 and 1.

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