Minjee Lee’s quest for the LPGA Match Play title has come to an end in the quarter-finals with the Australian now turning her focus to next week’s US Women’s Open.
Lee won her round of 16 showdown 5 & 4 over Mel Reid on Saturday but couldn’t match it with former world No.1 Ariya Jutanugarn in the afternoon session at Shadow Creek, losing by the same score.
Thai star Jutanugarn immediately went 1-up was never headed as she won seven holes to two to close out her showdown with Lee with a half on the 14th.
The 25-year-old Lee – a five-times winner on the LPGA tour – will take some good form into The Olympic Club in San Francisco as she chases a maiden major trophy.
Two-time major winner Jutanugarn will face American Ally Ewing in the semi-finals but will need a good night’s sleep to be at her best on Sunday.
“Really tired,” Jutanugarn said after her win over Lee.
“I haven’t played 36 holes for so long.”
Ewing made a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole to beat local favourite Danielle Kang 1-up and join three major champions in the last four.
“It was a grind,” Ewing said after the long, hot day.
“Danielle is a competitor and I knew it was going to be a match from the start.”
In the other semi-final, Sophia Popov will play Shanshan Feng.
German Popov beat Patty Tavatanakit 3 & 2 while China’s Feng finished off Eun-Hee Ji with a birdie putt from more than 100 feet on the 19th hole.
“I was very happy that the putt finally fell in the hole,” Feng said.
Popov eliminated world No.2 Inbee Park in 20 holes in the morning, then headed back out to face another major champion in Tavatanakit in the afternoon.
“Obviously, the heat takes a toll on you,” last year’s Women’s British Open winner Popov said.
“I’m not going to lie. I can’t wait to put my feet up and do it all again tomorrow.”
Feng played 41 holes on Saturday, needing four extra holes to see off Brittany Altomare.
“I never played 41 holes (in one day) in my life. Never,” 2012 Women’s PGA Championship winner Feng said.