Lu, Henderson win opening matchplay matches in Vegas
Lilia Vu and Brooke Henderson, the only players from the top 10 in women's golf to enter the Bank of Hope LPGA matchplay, have both delivered victories at Shadow Creek in the opening session of pool action.
Vu never trailed in a 4&3 victory over fellow American Lauren Hartlage on Wednesday in Nevada, winning two holes early and closing with four straight holes at the end.
Canadian Henderson took the lead for good with a birdie on the par-5 ninth and relied on mistakes by South Korea's Yaeeun Hong to win 3&2.
China's Janet Lin, top seed in her pool, was 2 up over 24-year-old Gold Coast resident Karis Davidson until making bogeys on six of her next 10 holes to fall 5&4.
Fellow Aussie Sarah Kemp was beaten 3&2 by local Cheyenne Knight.
Vu reached the semi-finals in 2022 during her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, a tournament that sparked confidence in her for the rest of the year. She returns as the No.1 seed with two victories this year, becoming a major champion last month at the Chevron Championship.
Henderson made only two birdies, both on par 5s, and her score was the equivalent of four over.
"This is a really tough golf course," she said.
"Sometimes par is good and you're going to win with par. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of that, because sometimes the holes will really sneak up and bite you if you're not paying attention."
Danielle Kang is a member at Shadow Creek with plenty of matchplay experience from the Solheim Cup and the recent International Crown, but that didn't help her, beaten by Muni He of China 2&1.
"Going up against Danielle, a great friend of mine, a great player, and also with this being her home course it was kind of like, 'Well, you know, go out there, play your best golf, and just see what happens'," He said.
Her next match is against Alison Lee, another Shadow Creek member.
Lee was in control against Mexico's Maria Fassi when she birdied the 12th to go 3 up, but she bogeyed the 16th and 18th to halve the match.
Among other top seeds who won were Sweden's Maja Stark of Sweden and Celine Boutier of France.
There are three days of round-robin play until the winner from each of the 16 groups advance to the knockout stage on the weekend.