Lexi Thompson drains eagle putt on 18th hole to win ShopRite LPGA Classic

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Lexi Thompson drains eagle putt on 18th hole to win ShopRite LPGA Classic

Golf

Lexi Thompson drains eagle putt on 18th hole to win ShopRite LPGA Classic

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Lexi Thompson drained a 20-foot eagle putt on the last hole of the ShopRite LPGA Classic to claim her 11th career LPGA title.

The powerful American slashed a wedge out of the rough on her second shot and watched it bound onto the green. It was the first eagle of the day on the par-5 18th, and a meaningful putt Thompson won’t soon forget.

Her mile-wide smile said it all.

SCORES: Shoprite LPGA Classic

“I got chills,” said Thompson, “like my hair on my arms was like sticking up once I made that putt.”

Thompson’s closing 4-under 67 held off Jeongeun Lee6, last week’s U.S. Women’s Open winner, to collect her first title since last year’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

Thompson hit a 3-wood off the tee on the 18th hole and drove it into the left rough.

“I kind of had a little sketchy lie so I knew it was going to jump,” she said, “and then it was blowing 30 mph downwind, and I had 190 to the front, 200 pin. And it’s crazy to think about all the numbers that we were thinking about, but we were like, land it 30 yards short, so 160, and then with a jumper lie and then the wind I ended up hitting a pitching wedge, which is my 135 club, from 190. Ended up, I guess, landing 50 yards short and rolling up there.”

She planned it perfectly.

Last week Thompson, who recently switched to the claw putting grip, finished in a share of second at the Country Club of Charleston, two shots behind the South Korean rookie known as “6.” Thompson closed with a disappointing 73 in Charleston.

The roles flipped in New Jersey, where Thompson made her professional debut at the ShopRite nine years ago. This time Thompson finished at 12-under 201 for the tournament, one ahead of Lee6.

Thompson’s victory at Seaview’s Bay Course makes it seven consecutive seasons that the 24-year-old has notched an LPGA victory, the longest active win streak on tour. Her 11th title moves her one ahead of Ariya Jutanugarn and Paula Creamer in career victories.

Thompson four-putted her first hole on Saturday but didn’t let that derail her. She insists that she’s feeling quite comfortable with the claw grip, which brother Curtis had been urging her to switch to for years.

“Yeah, you know putting,” she said of Saturday’s early blunder. “It’s just like golf, it’s crazy, a crazy game, and it can happen.”

That positive approach certainly paid off in Seaview and might have a ripple effect as the LPGA season barrels toward three summer majors. Resiliency has become a large part of Thompson’s story.

“Yeah, well, I mean, honestly, I hope nobody has to go through what I did in 2017,” she said, “with the few curve balls that were thrown at me. But I really just want to show people that you can get through anything that life throws at you. You just have to keep on pushing through it with a positive attitude and just keep going and not give up because if you do, life will get at you and you’ll go downhill.”

American Ally McDonald finished alone in third, making noise as the 2019 Solheim Cup moves inside 100 days. Mariah Stackhouse finished in a career-best T-5.

 

 

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