Defending champion Ally Ewing, 2022 season points leader Danielle Kang and reigning British Open champion Anna Nordqvist are the first players to sign up for next month’s Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play.
The three are the first of 64 players who will be announced in the coming weeks for the tournament, scheduled for May 25-29 in Shadow Creek.
Ewing won the inaugural tournament last spring, beating Sophia Popov in the championship game for her second LPGA title.
It is certain that Kang will play the tournament on his home course. Last spring, she served as the de facto host of the tournament, proudly showing off her journey to her peers, most of whom had never played there before.
Nordqvist, a three-time major champion, made it through the qualifying rounds last year despite having world No. 1 Jin Young Ko in her group.
Last year’s tournament brought together almost all the best players in the world. Nelly Korda, Jessica Korda, Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson were among the few to skip the event, mainly because it falls a week before the US Women’s Open.
Nelly Korda said earlier this year that she planned to play in 2022, but her confirmation to the Review-Journal came before she was diagnosed with a blood clot in her arm that sidelined her for more than a month, causing him to miss the year. first major.
As the tournament grows, officials are looking for volunteers. Approximately 450 people are needed for a variety of on- and off-course positions. For more information or to apply, visit bankofhopelpgamatchplay.com.
Johnson rehearses in Las Vegas
Kamaiu Johnson successfully defended his 2021 title last week at the APGA Tour event at TPC Las Vegas.
The two-round tournament was reduced to just 18 holes due to high winds which wiped out the first round of play.
Johnson shot a par 71 for a two-stroke victory over Aaron Beverly, Joseph Hooks and Willie Mack III. He won $7,500 of the $25,000 purse.
Johnson is one of the biggest names on the APGA Tour, having earned a spot in the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open last year. But the week of the tournament, he tested positive for COVID and was unable to play.
“It was quite a trip last year for sure,” said Johnson, who plays in Oviedo, Fla. “Then my daughter was born in October and it was amazing. Now I’m more relaxed, patient. I know she’s going to love me whether I shoot 82 or 62.”
In a twist of good karma, Farmers officials brought Johnson back in January for the spot in the field he hadn’t been able to fill a year earlier.
Call closed for Montgomery
Former UNLV Taylor Montgomery came close to his first Korn Ferry Tour victory this weekend, settling for a tie for fourth at the Veritex Bank Championship in Arlington, Texas.
Montgomery played in the final pair on Saturday after rounds of 65-66-64. A 70 in the final round left him at 19 under 265, three strokes behind winner Tyson Alexander.
Montgomery moved up to 28th on the season points list, with the top 25 at the end of the year earning promotion to the PGA Tour. Montgomery finished 26th last season.
Fioroni goes low
UNLV sophomore Caden Fioroni wrapped up the regular season in style, shooting an 8-under 63 in the final round of Thunderbird Collegiate Saturday at Papago Golf Course in Phoenix.
Fioroni had an eagle and six birdies in a bogey-free round, moving him into second place two shots behind Arizona State’s James Leow.
Fioroni’s 63 is the second-lowest single-round score in UNLV history.
Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].