Minjee Lee Looks For Match-Play Lead At 2022 Bank Of Hope

Written By Alec Cunningham on May 27, 2022
2022 Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play

The ladies of the LPGA convene in Las Vegas, NV this week for the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play at Shadow Creek golf course.

As a tournament based in Sin City, it feels only natural that MGM Rewards should be the official sponsor. Its sports betting arm, BetMGM Sportsbook, gives 25-year-old Australian Minjee Lee the largest likelihood of a win.

Match-play tournament formatting

This week’s battle for 500 CME Globe Points and a $1,500,000 purse isn’t just any ordinary golf outing.In that this Bank of Hope tournament is a match-play event, its format is different than traditional events that take place during the season.

This tournament begins with a field of 64 players broken into 16 groups of 4. During the first three days of competition, each player battles a different golfer from within their group, earning two points for every win and one point for every halved match.

If two players are tied for the lead in a group following this round-robin play, a sudden-death playoff determines who advances.

These 16 groups then diminish into 16 group winners that advance through a single-elimination bracket.  The four winners of that tier then play a final 18-hole match to crown the champion.

2022 Bank Of Hope LPGA Match-Play betting odds

The first two rounds of this second annual match-play event is already in the books, resulting in plenty of early shakeups and surprises. The inaugural match-play event led to American Ally Ewing overtaking Sophia Popov for the title. Both of these ladies, however, have already seen their share of struggles this go-around.

First-day upsets saw No. 50 Jodi Ewart Shadoff beat defending champ Ally Ewing. Popov found defeat once again herself, losing two points to Jenny Shin.

Ewing and Popov still have two more days to recoup some points, but these first-day victories give Shadoff and Shin an early lead in their respective groups. BetMGM gives Ewing +325 odds of a group win, while Popov trails in her group with +2500 odds.

No. 63 Tiffany Chan notched a successful takedown of her own, winning against No. 2 Atthaya Thitikul. Chan won the 2022 JTBC Classic back in March, proving that she’s got what it takes to carry her talent all the way through to the final hole. Chan has +475 odds of winning her group, whereas Thitikul has +105 odds of a group win.

No. 4 Danielle Kang also wound up with zero points in Round 1 after being dominated by No. 61 Kelly Tan in her first-ever match-play event. Kang remains the group favorite at sportsbooks, however, with +210 odds of winning her group.

Minjee Lee favored for the win

Minjee Lee remains the tournament favorite at BetMGM Sportsbook, having earned two points over her first competitor in Round 1.

Lee currently carries the No. 1 CME Ranking and the No. 4 Rolex Ranking, having placed in the top 10 three times this year already. Moreover, her most recent visit to the Cognizant Founders Cup resulted in a first-place victory.

BetMGM is confident in her ability to walk away from her group victorious, giving her -3000 odds of a group win.

Match-Play futures odds

Lee’s luck isn’t likely to stop there, though. Oddsmakers expect Lee to extend her lead all the way through to the final round, giving her +600 odds of an outright tournament win.

Hye-Jin Choi and Hannah Green follow close behind in 2022 Bank of Hope futures odds. Choi sits at +900 odds of a win, while Green is given a slightly longer +1000 odds.

Both players have placed in the top 10 at four events this year, though Green boasts a slightly better overall showing, lending extra value to her lengthier odds.

Most recently, Green tied for fifth at the Palos Verdes Championship and finished runner-up at the DIO Implant LA Open this April. Choi’s only top-five showing this year came as a third-place finish in April at the LOTTE Championship.

The tournament is still plenty young, though.

And as we’ve learned already this season — it’s always wise to never rule out an upset.

Photo by Lee Jin-man/Associated Press
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