American Ally Ewing earned her second LPGA Tour win at the LPGA Match-Play championship on Sunday, outlasting former major winner Sophia Popov to take the final 2&1 at the Shadow Creek course in Las Vegas.
The 28-year-old Ewing won Sunday afternoon’s showdown after a marathon day of golf in which she also beat Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn 3&2 in the semis.
Ewing won despite needing two tee shots on 17 after her first shot landed short of the green in the water. She took a penalty, and the second tee shot was also short into the front bunker. But the American managed to regroup from there and win after Popov had an even bigger collapse on the hole.
“I feel like I was limping in,” said Ewing. “I got fatigued out there.”
Ewing’s win follows her triumph in October at the 2020 Drive On Championship at Reynolds Lake Oconee, as she emerged victorious Sunday despite being the lone golfer in the semis that hadn’t won a major championship.
Former Women’s British Open winner Popov also found the front bunker off the tee on 17. She hit the ball over the green on her second shot, then chipped it 20 feet past the cup on her third to doom her chances of winning the hole and going into 18 all tied.
She blamed her collapse on being fatigued from so much golf.
“I am just a little sad I couldn’t play my best this afternoon,” said Popov, who won the 2020 Women’s British Open in August for her first win. “I was right there. If I had close to the game I had the last four days I could have won.
“For both of us it wasn’t our best performance.”
Ewing won the second, fourth and 14th holes, while Popov won the 11th in the final.
Both Popov and Ewing advanced with impressive semi-final triumphs earlier Sunday.
Ewing, ranked 30th, defeated 23rd-ranked Ariya, while Popov, ranked 21st, edged China’s 28th-ranked Feng Shanshan 1-up in the other.
Feng was scheduled to play her consolation match later Sunday but decided to concede, citing a need to rest for next week’s US Open, giving up more than $23,000 in the process.
Feng was one of four who made it to Sunday’s final day, but when she lost her morning semi-finals match to Popov, she elected not to stick around for her consolation match against Ariya.
“Next week is the US Women’s Open,” Feng said. “I just want to be well-rested and protect myself.”