Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie search to regain winning formula

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Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie search to regain winning formula

LPGA Tour

Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie search to regain winning formula

KILDEER, Ill. – Lexi Thompson boarded a private jet in Arkansas Sunday night with five other LPGA stars bound for the CVS Charity Classic in Rhode Island. The event – which features players from the PGA Tour, LPGA and PGA Tour Champions – has become a mainstay of Thompson’s schedule, regardless of the fact that it falls during a major week.

Thompson arrived in suburban Chicago for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at 10:30 p.m. Monday night. She met with the media on Tuesday afternoon, prior to the seeing Kemper Lakes Golf Club for the first time.

“If I can’t figure it out in two days,” said Thompson, who rarely comes to a major championship venue before the tournament week. She did, however, send her caddie on Monday for a first look.

Michelle Wie actually came to Kemper Lakes 17 years ago as an 11-year-old when she competed in the now defunct U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, a title she won in 2003. Wie said she’d be lying if she claimed to remember the course.

“A lot of great memories except for the golf course, so I don’t know if it’ll benefit me or not,” said Wie. “But yeah, fun fact.”

Strong start for Wie in Singapore

Wie and Thompson – America’s two most popular stars – have won once collectively this season. Wie’s sensational finish in Singapore kicked off a consistent season, but not one that has yielded anything better than a share of 10th in her last 10 starts.

The swing, however, looks more and more like the Wie of old.

“The reason why my swing got so short and all the swing changes I’ve been through is really through my injuries,” said Wie. “I’ve had back issues, hip issues and ankle issues, which didn’t allow me to swing the way I wanted to, and I had to try to find a swing that I could play with, and I think those being healthier now, I think just trying to get back to … like that old swing. I think with less restrictions on my body, it’s helping for sure.”

The confidence is building, Wie said, and now it’s a matter of trusting the rhythm of her old/new swing. Both of these players will have an advantage around Kemper Lakes, especially after Tuesday’s substantial rain, with their length and ability to spin the ball.

As for Thompson, the area where confidence needs to build is on the greens. Her tie for third in Arkansas last week was highlighted by a boatload of missed opportunities. Thompson ranks second in greens in regulation and 40th in putts per GIR. Last year she ranked eighth in the same putting category and finished the season first in greens.

If she’s losing her patience from being outside the winner’s circle, Thompson isn’t letting the world in on it.

“I put in hours on the greens,” she said, “and it will all fall together for me.”

In a season in which 16 different players have won, these are the two names the golf world still clamors to see.

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