Golf: Nordqvist shocks No. 1 Ko to advance to Matchplay knockout stage; Park, Kang also through

Anna Nordqvist tees off during the Bank of hope Match-Play at Shadow Creek, in Las Vegas, on May 28, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Sweden's Anna Nordqvist eliminated No. 1 seed Ko Jin-young on the first play-off hole after beating her 5&3 earlier in the day, to advance to the knockout stage of the Bank of Hope LPGA Matchplay in Las Vegas on Friday (May 28).

American Danielle Kang defeated good friend Lizette Salas to finish the group stage undefeated - the only player to go 3-0 - and second-ranked Park In-bee also made the knockout phase.

"I played really well this morning. She is a world No. 1, so I knew she was going to be a really tough match," said Nordqvist.

"Part of me felt like I didn't have anything to lose because I knew I had to get my point to have a chance at a potential playoff, so just very proud of myself."

Kang defeated Salas 4&3 in Group 5 to advance to the last 16, where she'll play England's Bronte Law, who defeated or tied three Americans to advance from Group 12.

"Of course I want to win whoever I'm playing, but it's just different. It's a different feeling, especially with Lizette," said Kang, who has yet to trail in the competition.

"Every time she missed a putt, any time she missed I'd go, 'Oh, go in.' My heart just kind of dropped because I don't ever want her to miss putts. I'm not wishing that on her or anything."

Six matches went to sudden-death play-offs to set Saturday's match-play bracket.

In Group 3, Brittany Altomare eliminated Kim Sei-young with a par on the second play-off hole. In Group 16, Ariya Jutanugarn sent Sarah Schmelzel home with a par on the first extra hole to advance despite a 1-0-2 record in the group stage.

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