RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – It was, at times, difficult to watch. Lexi Thompson’s putter went ice cold on a scorcher of a day in the desert. So frigid that she three-putted from 4 feet on the par-4 12th. Thompson missed five putts from 4 feet or less in Round 2 of the ANA Inspiration. Her best putt of the day came out of the long grass from 15 feet from off the 10th green. After Thursday’s gutsy opener, it was a deflating day for the top American, though she smiled through her post-round interviews and appeared upbeat.
“I would just say it didn’t feel as comfortable lining it up,” said Thompson, who took 33 putts on the day and fought a left miss.
Thompson’s even-par 72 puts her at 4 under for the tournament, eight back of co-leaders Sung Hyun Park and Pernilla Lindberg, who bested Lorena Ochoa’s scoring mark of 11-under 133 from 2006 by one stroke.
Perhaps Thompson can go to bed thinking about the 4-footer that did drop on the 17th. Thompson hit an 8-iron from 170 yards on the penultimate par 3. On the par-5 18th, she stuffed a full lob wedge from 94 yards to 4 inches. The fans who carried her during last year’s Sunday heartbreak rose to their feet and offered high-fives as she made her way down Champion’s Walk.
She’ll need to attack on moving day to keep this intriguing comeback story alive.
“You just have to hit it on the fairways out here, but they’re putting some hard pin locations,” said Thompson. “They’re tucking them a lot more than they usually do. There were actually a few Sunday pins from last year that they put today.”