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Golf | Women`s Golf

Suzann Pettersen © Gallo Images

Pettersen seeks Match-Play repeat



World No 3 Suzann Pettersen of Norway tries to defend her title at the LPGA Match-Play Championship in Gladstone, New Jersey, starting on Thursday with an opening-round match against England's Jodi Ewart.

Pettersen has four top-20 showings this season, her best at the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii, but struggled since the season opened overseas and hopes a return to the site of a prior triumph can spark a victory in 2012.

"I've had a slow start," Pettersen said. "It was a bit disappointing going to Asia, not performing better. I've done a few changes lately over the last six, seven weeks.

"My game is coming. It's falling in place right now and I'm looking forward to a big summer. This will be a great kind of kick start to get into a good summer stretch.

"It's just a matter of time. If I keep putting in the hard effort, I think the results will show."

Pettersen will be favored over Ewart, whose best LPGA finish is seventh, but will be tested by a field that includes World No 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan, who already owns three triumphs this year.

Tseng will open against South Korea's Jeong Jang.

The champion of the $375 000 top prize will win six matches in the 64-player event and endure a four-day grind just as Pettersen had last year, taking the final over American Cristie Kerr, who opens against Spain's Belen Mozo.

"It's a test of endurance and a test of who's the last person standing," fifth-ranked Kerr said. "When you are in the final match and you are playing against one of your friends, of course you still want to win, but you want to have a good match. And we did."

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