At age 22 years, 3 months, and 11 days, Lexi Thompson has won eight LPGA tournaments. Her victory Sunday at the Kingsmill Championship may be the most satisfying of them all.
Thompson went wire to wire in Williamsburg, putting together rounds of 65-65-69-65 to finish the 72 holes at 20 under par 264. In the process, she left the field in her wake; her closest pursuer, In Gee Chun finished five shots behind her.
It’s the first win for Thompson since she prevailed in Thailand in February of last year. But it’s also her first trip to Victory Lane since she was denied at the ANA Inspiration this past April when she was accessed a four-stroke penalty while seemingly in command of the tournament with six holes to go. She indicated that Sunday’s win will allow her to put the events of April 2 behind her
“Yeah, it definitely does,” she said. “I’m so over that. It’s in the past. It’s unfortunate what happened, but it’s time to move on. This puts a lid on it.”
With that out of the way, let us discuss Thompson’s efforts this week. Her winning score established a new tournament scoring record, bettering by one shot a standard established by Annika Sorenstam in 2008.
“it means the world to me,” she said. “Annika has been a player I’ve always looked up to not only how she played on the course, but how she is off and how she gave back to the game. This is a huge honor. I wasn’t focusing on that and I didn’t actually know that until maybe (Saturday) night.”
Thompson has always been popular with galleries but her popularity has significantly in the wake of the ANA inspiration controversy. That popularity manifested itself on Sunday in Williamsburg.
“Just to hear the fans cheering me on and giving me high fives in between shots and holes, it means so much,” she said. “It helps me pull through rounds like this.”
In the end, perhaps it was ironic that the controversy that engulfed Thompson and her sport occurred an event called the ANA Inspiration. Because it seems the events of that Sunday inspired her to take her game to another level, the level she attained for four magical days in Williamsburg.
“I went straight home (after the ANA) and I was golfing the next day, if not the day after,” she recalls “I was so determined just to keep on working on my game, because I knew that was the best golf I have played. I just couldn’t let it get to me.
“I had to continue to practice and work hard. To have the support from my family and friends and all the fans, I mean, it was amazing. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
Notes: Thompson is projected to remain fifth in the world in the Rolex World Rankings. She is the third American to win this year; Brittany Lincicome prevailed in the Bahamas while Cristie Kerr won in Hawaii … It was a good week for American players. Angela Stanford finished third at 11-under par 273, Danielle Kang was fourth at 274 while Ryann O’Toole and Gerina Piller were part of a three-way tie for seventh at 276 … Eleven different players have won the LPGA’s first 11 tournaments this season.
— LPGA (@LPGA) May 22, 2017