Candie Kung, the 49th-ranked player in the world, stunned top-ranked Yani Tseng Saturday with a 3 and 2 knockout punch in the third round of the LPGA Tour’s Sybase Match Play Championship.
Tseng got off to a good start, winning the first hole at Hamilton Farm Golf Club. Kung, however, quickly evened the match on No. 2, took a 2-up lead after four holes and never gave it back. Tseng battled but could not overcome Kung’s birdie fest, as the 10th-year tour pro put an exclamation on her six birds with back-to-backers on the final two holes.
“I feel pretty good beating the No. 1 player,” Kung told reporters after her upset win. “I just kept it in play today. She had a couple of error shots and that’s how I got to three up.”
Tseng, who complained earlier in the week about her poor putting, said she could not get anything going in her third match-play tilt, after winning her first contest 1-up and taking out Katie Futcher, 3 and 1, in the second round.
“Actually I wasn’t surprised I lost because I played bad this week but it’s disappointing,” said Tseng, who place an emergency call to putting coach Dave Stockton after squeaking by in her match against Jang. “I like match play but I just couldn’t get it in the hole.”
In a battle of Kraft Nabisco champions, still standing and looking for her second LPGA victory of the 2012 season and third overall was Stacy Lewis. Last year’s Dinah Shore winner beat reigning Kraft Nabisco titleholder Sun Young Yoo, 1-up , in the morning match.
“It was really tough, [we] didn’t play our best and we were kind of all over the place in the beginning,” Lewis said of a round in which she made only three birdies and conceded to Yoo’s six on the par-5 11th hole. “I found something in the end and birdied the last three to get the win.”
It took 19 holes, but Morgan Pressel, who’s seeking her first tour win since 2008, upset No. 2 in the world, Na Yeon Choi.
“Na Yeon is such a solid player. She just doesn’t make any mistakes,” Pressel said. “I made some really big putts on 16 and 17 and I was able to take it all the way to 19 holes.”
The quarterfinals feature Pressel vs. Anna Nordqvist, So Yeon Ryu taking on Vicky Hurst, Kung and Julieta Granada, and Lewis vs. Azahara Munoz.