Ewing beats Popov to win LPGA Match Play

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NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Ally Ewing won the LPGA Match Play on Sunday at Shadow Creek, beating Sophia Popov 2 and 1 for her second tour victory.

Ewing won the difficult par-4 14th with a birdie to take a 2-up lead and closed out her German rival with a double-bogey halve on the par-3 17th.

The 28-year-old former Mississippi State player won her first tour title in October in Florida at Reynolds Lake Oconee, still playing under her maiden name of McDonald. On Sunday, she won on her first wedding anniversary with Bulldogs women’s coach Charlie Ewing.

On another long, hot day in the desert, Ewing won the par-4 second and fourth holes and held the 2-up lead until Popov took the par-5 11th with a birdie. Popov won the British Women’s Open last year.

In the semifinals, Ewing beat Ariya Jutanugarn 3 and 2, and Popov edged Shanshan Feng 1 up. Feng conceded the third-place match to Jutanugarn because of the heat and fatigue with the U.S. Women’s Open only days away at Olympic in San Francisco.

“If I play 18 more I don’t know how I will do,” Feng said. “I might fall over on the course. I don’t think I should push myself that bad. If I got in the top two, of course, yes, I would play until I fall down on the course. But I lost the match in the morning, and I think it’s better idea just to get rested after this. Next week is the U.S. Open. It’s a very hilly and challenging course, so, I just want to be well-rested and protect myself.”

The Chinese star played 41 holes Saturday.

On Saturday, Ewing beat local favorite Danielle Kang 1 up in the quarterfinals after outlasting Jenny Coleman in 19 holes in the morning in the round of 16.

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