One of the most thrilling stretches of the 2022 LPGA Tour season begins with the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play presented by MGM Rewards. The match play kicks off five consecutive weeks of competition in which the world’s best players will also compete in two major championships – the US Women’s Open and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – and make stops at some of the most popular events of the year – the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer and Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.
First, players will have to outlast five days, seven rounds, and more than 120 holes of golf to be crowned the winner of the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play. The event, which is in just its second playing at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas begins on Wednesday.
For the first three days, the 64-player field, which is divided into 16 groups of four players each, will compete within their group over in a round robin style competition. The top point earner from each group will advance to the single elimination matches, which begin on Saturday. In the morning, eight single elimination matches will be played followed by four quarterfinal matches in the afternoon. Sunday, two semifinal matches will be played in the morning to determine the final two players who will square off in the afternoon Championship Match.
Ally Ewing played more than 120 holes of golf and route to capturing the inaugural Bank of Hope Match Play in 2021, when she defeated Sophia Popov 2 and 1 for her second career victory on the LPGA Tour.
“It was exhausting. 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, ”said Ewing after her victory last year. “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. ”
The field includes Ariya Jutanugarn, who finished third at the match play last year. Danielle Kang, who calls Las Vegas home, is also returning to the field after a T5 last season. Winners already this season – Minjee Lee, Atthaya Thitikul, Hyo Joo Kim and Jennifer Kupcho – are also in the field.
Players who compete in the match play will face the challenge of maintaining their form and stamina as the following week they’ll make the trip cross country to Southern Pines, North Carolina to Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club for the US Women’s Open. There, Yuka Saso will look to defend her title at the second major championship of the year.
From North Carolina, players will head north to Galloway, New Jersey for the annual ShopRite LPGA Classic. The 54-hole event has been a fixture on the LPGA’s schedule since 1992 and it’s where Celine Boutier will look to defend her title.
Next, the LPGA Tour visits Belmont, Michigan for the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club. Last season, Nelly Korda and Leona Maguire went head-to-head over the final 18 holes in which Korda came out on top.
And, finally, the five-week stretch will wrap up with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the season’s third major. For the first time, the women’s major will be staged at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland where Korda is defending champion for the second week in a row.
The next five weeks on the LPGA Tour will no doubt deliver some of the most thrilling golf of the season as the world’s best square off for some of the most prestigious titles of the year.