Thailand's third-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn and 12th-ranked Kim Sei-Young of South Korea advanced to the LPGA Lorena Ochoa Match Play finals with impressive morning triumphs Sunday.
Ariya, who captured the first of her five LPGA titles exactly a year ago, defeated American Michelle Wie 4 and 3 while Kim defeated 25th-ranked compatriot Hur Mi-Jung 5 and 4.
That set up the 18-hole afternoon championship match in the first LPGA match-play tournament since 2012.
Kim also seeks her sixth career LPGA title. It would be her first since last June's Meijer LPGA Classic.
Ariya birdied the par-5 sixth and Wie lost the par-4 eighth and 12th holes on bogeys. Ariya birdied the par-3 14th to go 4-up and parred the 15th to halve the hole and seal the triumph.
Hur, seeking her third career LPGA title and first since 2014, had upset world number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand in the third round, ensuring Ariya could not overtake her atop the rankings for at least another week.
But she was undone from the start in the semi-finals as Kim opened birdie-eagle-par with threes on each hole to jump ahead and a birdie to win the par-5 sixth for a 4-up lead.
Kim began the back nine by winning the par-4 10th with a par. Hur won her only hole with a birdie at the 12th and birdied 13 but Kim eagled to win the 13th and matched Hur's birdie to halve the par-3 14th and close out the victory.
© 2017 AFP