Golf

Ko wins opener in Ochoa Match Play

Lydia Ko beat hometown favourite Ana Menendez 3 & 2 yesterday morning (Singapore time) to launch her campaign at the LPGA Lorena Ochoa Match Play, where Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn set up a second-round sister duel.

New Zealand's Ko, who was forced out of last week's Texas Shootout with an eye infection, was the first winner of the day in the tournament that switched this year from its former stroke-play format.

The world No. 1 seized the lead with a birdie at the par-five second, and was able to take advantage of some miscues by Menendez - who won two holes with birdies but never got ahead.

Ko won the 14th with a par to go 3-up and sealed the win when they halved the 16th with birdies.

Ariya, the top seed in her bracket, advanced with a 5 & 4 win over Amy Anderson while eighth-seeded Moriya beat Alana Sharp 2 & 1.

"We talked about (playing each other) after we saw the pairing," Ariya said.

"We said we are lucky we hadn't booked a flight yet. We never know who is going back early so we are happy about that."

- AFP

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