Top Four Seeds Advance at Match Play

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GLADSTONE, N.J. -- The top four seeds advanced to the third round of the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship at the Highlands Course at Hamilton Farm Golf Club.
 
Annika Sorenstam, fresh off her Monday playoff win at the U.S. Women's Open and the No. 1 seed, dusted Heather Young in Friday's second round to the tune of 3 and 2.
 
Michelle Wie, ranked second, pulled away on the back nine Friday en route to a 3 and 2 victory over 34th-seeded Christina Kim.
 
Karrie Webb, the fourth seed and current Kraft Nabisco Champion, trounced Hee Jung Park, 5 and 4 on Friday.
 
Lorena Ochoa was the last person off the course. The tour's leading money winner and No. 3 player in the field overcame a 4-down deficit after the 10th to beat No. 35 Karine Icher, 1-up. Ochoa won the 18th hole to complete the stunning comeback.
 
'A win is a win. I just really hope to have a better start tomorrow,' said Ochoa. 'It was kind of hard today. It's a lot of emotions and you try to keep yourself calm, but, you know, you only have a few holes left. There are a lot of things going in your mind.'
 
Sorenstam flew out of the gate on Friday with birdies and wins at the first two holes. Young wasted little time in squaring the match as she took holes four and five, then the pair halved the ninth in birdies to make the turn all square.
 
The Swede took command of the match with wins at 10, 12 and 13. When the two halved No. 16, Sorenstam punched her ticket into the third round.
 
'It was a good match, and I'm quite happy with the way I played,' said Sorenstam. 'I think my speed is as very good as it's been in a long time. I'm very happy with the way I'm putting.'
 
Sorenstam will face Brittany Lang, the 17th seed, Saturday morning. Lang moved on thanks to a 3 and 2 drubbing of No. 16 Seon Hwa Lee.
 
The other third-round match in that portion of the bracket will feature Juli Inkster, the eighth seed, who advanced with a 4 and 3 pounding of No. 25 Catriona Matthew, and Marcy Hart, ranked 56th. Hart dispatched 24th-ranked Liselotte Neumann, 4 and 3, on Friday.
 
Wie, like Sorenstam, set the early pace in her match. She captured the second and third holes, but Kim countered with victories at the fifth and seventh holes.
 
Kim actually took the lead in the match with a win at the eighth, but Wie took the ninth to even the match heading to the back nine. The 16-year-old moved ahead with wins at 11 and 12, but Kim clawed back into it by taking the 13th.
 
But Wie could not be stopped. She birdied the 14th for a win and 2-up lead, then took No. 16 to close out Kim, someone who has befriended Wie on the LPGA Tour.
 
'Obviously we're pretty close and it's tough to put that out of your mind,' admitted Wie. 'You just have to think that she's just another opponent and try your hardest. She played her hardest, I played my hardest, I just felt like I played really solid today.'
 
Wie has one of the most intriguing third-round matches on Saturday. She will battle reigning LPGA Champion Se Ri Pak, seeded 15th in the tournament. Pak won her final hole to post a 1-up victory over 47th-ranked Lorie Kane.
 
Brittany Lincicome, No. 39, handled Brandie Burton, 2 and 1 in Friday's first second-round match. She will meet Kyeong Bae, ranked 55th, who toppled Suzann Pettersen, 1-up.
 
Webb will next tee it up against U.S. Women's Open runner-up Pat Hurst, the No. 13 seed who knocked of European Solheim Cup captain Helen Alfredsson, 4 and 2.
 
Paula Creamer, the reigning Rookie of the Year, eliminated the defending champion Marisa Baena, 5 and 3. That sets up a third-round encounter with Morgan Pressel, ranked 12th. Pressel moved on thanks to a 2 and 1 win over Meena Lee.
 
Ochoa's next foe will be 14th-ranked Mi Hyun Kim, who slaughtered Laura Davies, 5 and 4 on Friday.
 
Sophie Gustafson knocked off the highest seed yet on Friday when she trounced sixth-seeded Cristie Kerr, 4 and 2. Gustafson will meet Laura Diaz, the 43rd seed, who won 2-up against Lindsey Wright.
 
Related Links:
  • Scoring - HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship
  • Full Coverage - HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship
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