Golf: Ariya wins sibling battle, Wie advances

06 May, 2017 1:10 pm

MEXICO CITY – Little sister beat her big sister, while Michelle Wie advanced in the Lorena Ochoa Match Play tournament on Friday in Mexico City.

Ariya Jutanugarn got past her older sister Moriya 2-up in the second round at Club de Golf Mexico in the first match-play event on the LPGA Tour since 2012.

Wie moved into the next round with a 3-and-2 win over LPGA rookie Laura Gonzalez Escallon of Belgium that included for the second consecutive day an eagle on the par-5, 464-yard second hole.

Also winning second-round matches were top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand, 39-year-old Cristie Kerr and Canadian Brooke Henderson.

The Jutanugarn match went down to the last hole before Ariya secured the victory. The 21-year-old, who finished the round with four birdies, could not pull away from her 22-year-old sibling Moriya — the lead was never more than two holes.

“Today we had fun because we are sisters and we always have fun anyways,” Ariya said. “She plays so good. I can’t believe I beat her today because she’s so good.”

Moriya will head back to Florida to watch her sister, who next faces Pernilla Lindberg of Sweden, try to win the tournament.

“We don’t try to be easy on each other,” Moriya said. “Hopefully, next time we are not in the same pool and don’t have to see each other so early in the week.”

Wie took control of her match with a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 11 for a 3-up advantage. Her third-round opponent will be Marina Alex, a 5-and-4 winner over Jessica Korda.

“I’m happy with how I played,” Wie said. “It was a fun but tough match. I am happy the way I’m playing and just happy to survive.”

Ko defeated Jennifer Song 1-up to ensure that she’ll maintain the world No. 1 ranking after this week. Her next opponent is South Korean Mi Jung Hur, who had to go 20 holes to knock out Norway’s Suzann Pettersen.

Kerr, who lost a six-hole playoff in Texas against Japan’s Haru Nomura on Sunday, dispatched Korean Jenny Shin 4 and 3. She will face Cydney Clanton, a 19-hole winner over Germany’s Caroline Masson.

Henderson rallied after trailing Ryann O’Toole 2-down after nine with a run of four straight birdies for a 2-and-1 win.

“I knew I had some work to do,” Henderson said. “I was able to do make four birdies in a row (starting at 12) that helped my momentum.” –Reuters

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