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Top-seeded Lee falls to Masson, ousted from LPGA Match-Play

Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play Hosted by Shadow Creek - Day Three
Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play Hosted by Shadow Creek - Day Three

Los Angeles: Germany's Caroline Masson beat top-seeded Minjee Lee 2&1 on Friday to cap a perfect 3-0 round-robin and eliminate the Australian star from the LPGA Match-Play in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Masson booked a round-of-16 tilt with Andrea Lee on Saturday at Shadow Creek.


Lee beat Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow 2&1 to win her four-woman group.


Lee, the world number four coming off a victory at the Founders Cup two weeks ago, won the 14th and 15th holes to cut her deficit to one hole.


But Masson ended the match with a par at the 17th.


"I knew it was going to be tough," Masson said. "Minjee is a great player. She has been playing great the last -- well, years really, but the last few weeks as well. Also it's match play, and I feel like pretty much anybody can beat anybody out here."


Masson was proud of her ability to stay on an even keel as Lee challenged, something she said she'd done well throughout the three days of round-robin play.


The German also notched 2&1 wins over Brittany Altomare and Chun Young-in, never trailing in a match.


"I kind of went a little longer than I could've in all three matches, but I closed it out in the end," she said.


Six more of those advancing to the knockout stages swept their groups, with Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom, England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff, South African Paula Reto, Hong Kong's Tiffany Chan, American Lilia Vu and South Korean Choi Hye-jin also going 3-0.


Sagstrom beat Ryann O'Toole 2&1 on Friday to line up a match against American Emma Talley.


Shadoff topped Jasmine Suwannapura 3&2 and will take on Chan, the next-to-last seed who is playing on a sponsor's invitation.


South Korea's Jenny Shin, who lives in Las Vegas, rallied to tie her match with Kang Hae-ji and advance.


South Korean Ji Eun-hee advanced in dramatic style with a tie against Malaysia's Kelly Tan. Tan was 2-up with two to play, but Ji produced a couple of clutch putts to get the half-point she needed to move on.


Two groups were decided in play-offs, with Scotland's Gemma Dryburgh beating Gaby Lopez of Mexico and Thai Moriya Jutanugarn beating South African Ashleigh Buhai, both deciders finishing at the first hole. -- AFP


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