With a three-foot putt on the 17th hole at Shadow Creek, American Ally Ewing captured the inaugural Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play, sealing a 2-and-1 victory over Germany’s Sophia Popov.
Ewing and Popov competed amid sweltering conditions, with temperatures all week in the hitting the upper 90s.
“It was exhausting,” said Ewing, who claimed her second career LPGA title.
“I think I was limping in on the finish line really. Fatigue was definitely a factor.
“Four rounds of stroke play, 18, 18, 18, 18 is a grueling week, especially if you’re in contention.
“This week was unlike any other. I’m definitely going to have to tape up the feet I think for another week, but well worth it.”
In the battle of two likely Solheim Cup players, Ewing scored first, winning the second hole to go 1 up. She then converted birdie at No. 6 to go 2 up, a lead she carried through the 10th hole.
Popov won the 11th with a par, cutting Ewing’s lead to 1-up, which she held through No. 13.
At No. 14, the momentum swung back in Ewing’s favor: from the front of the green, Ewing drained a 62-foot birdie putt to regain a 2-up lead.
“Made a few in the 40, 45-foot range but 60-footers you don’t see go in very often,” said Ewing, who celebrated her first wedding anniversary on Sunday with husband Charlie.
“Yeah, it was a blessing at the right time.”
Through 16 holes, Ewing still led by two shots, but after her tee shot on the par-3 17th landed in the water, the door was left wide open for Popov. But the German made a mess of the hole herself, leading to a split, and a second LPGA Tour title for Ewing.