Lexi Thompson Eyes Second Major Title with Angel on her Shoulders
Walking off the par-4 fourth Saturday, 11-time LPGA Tour winner Lexi Thompson just posted her third bogey in her last five holes. The 27-year-old sat at 2-under par, trailing by nine.
Thompson turned it around with a patient approach to sit T2 at 5-under par, cutting Chun’s lead down to three over her final 14 holes. The American sits in striking distance of her second career major championship.
Even being so close to the top of the leaderboard, Thompson's aiming to maintain the same approach from the first three days that's put her in this position.
“I'm going out tomorrow playing like I have the last three days,” Thompson said, “Playing relaxed, playing free, and just focusing on my game. Whatever all the other girls do, that's their control, and I'm in control of my game. That's all I can focus on.”
She’s changed that process recently, now relying on her caddie, Will Davidson, to look at the leaderboard if she ever needs to go for a certain score. Otherwise, she’s trying to enjoy the positive twists and turns that golf presents. She relished in her hole out for an eagle on the 17th during the second round by laughing alongside her caddie at the great result or enjoying just getting the right pace on her cross green birdie putt on the 15th Saturday for her third birdie in four holes.
“On those kind of putts you're just really focused on speed,” Thompson said, “and it ended up curling in there, so it's always a nice surprise.”
She's now looking at a final group tee time Sunday, aiming for her first victory since the 2019 Shoprite LPGA Classic. She's in position for the third top-10 of her career at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, alongside a T7 in 2017 and a third-place finish in 2015.
Dating back to October 2021, the perennial LPGA force's finished outside the top-20 once in 11 starts entering this week. Thompson posted five top-5s and three runner-ups over that stretch.
“I love that the hard work has been able to pay off for me,” Thompson explained, “I've been putting in the time, so to see it pay off and pay dividends means the world to me, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.”
Watching over Thompson is her late Grandmother, Dorothy Fischi, who passed away in May at 92 years old from natural causes.
Thompson teed it up at the U.S. Women's Open shortly after her passing, crying into Davidson's arms at the finish of a challenging week at Pine Needles. While acknowledging time heals wounds, Thompson continues to feel her Grandmother's presence as she plays at Congressional.
“I know she’s here every step of the way with me,” Thompson said, “She was my biggest fan and watched every single shot and I know she's glued to the TV if she was at home right now. She was my No. 1 supporter. It gives me the drive to be out here and do it for her.”
She’ll be alongside Thompson as she aims for her sixth top-5 major finish since 2019, which would be the most on tour over that timeframe, along with a memorable 12th career victory.