Friday, September 30, 2022

Thompson uses flawless rounds to take the lead at the US Open for Women

SAN FRANCISCO – Lexi Thompson had to clear her mind before she could get her golf game back and is now able to win her second career head.

Thompson shot a bump-free 5-under-66 on Saturday to take the lead in the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open for the first time in her career with a one-time lead over teenager Yuka Saso.

“I didn’t play by my standards and what I needed, and I just realized I needed to change my mindset,” Thompson said. “It just hurt me. Obviously I had to work on a few technical things in my game and everything, but the mental side really came out to me. I just took it too seriously and thought Lexi depended on my score. ‘

Thompson said she once again worked with performance coach John Denney not to think about mistakes, though she made little Saturday when she was the first player all week to get a level or better on made every hole in the round.

That put her ahead at 7 when she was in the final round of a major for the first time since 2017, when her lead was wiped out after 54 holes on the ANA Inspiration Sunday when she was penalized four strokes after seeing a spectator that she misplaced her marked ball during the third round.

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Lexi Thompson recognizes the crowd after making her first green during the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open Golf Tournament at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California, on June 5, 2021. (Jed Jacobsohn / AP Photo)

Thompson still managed to make a playoff game against So Yeon Ryu, but she lost and could not add up to the 2014 ANA Inspiration title she won for her first major.

Thompson played an almost flawless round on Saturday in search of her first U.S. Women’s Open title in her 15th try after competing in 2007 as a 12-year-old amateur. She has four top 10 finishes at the U.S. Women’s Open, including a runner- two years ago in Charleston.

Thompson lurked on the points table all week, shooting 69 and 71 in the second round on Thursday before shooting the low round of her career at this tournament on Saturday.

She started running with three birds, including one on no. 9, after she hit her knockdown in the second cut. She still managed to get on the green and made a set of 20 feet to get to 5 under.

Thompson has another long birdie on no. 14 added and hit the green on the par-5 17th in two strokes before putting for birdie and the lead twice. At 18, she hit the par with a three-foot shot after hitting her shot in the rough and her approach behind the green.

“I beat it well all day, made some good holes there,” she said. “It’s all about patience on this golf course, because bad shots will be made and you will miss some clean field roads, so in the worst case you have to bump and go down the hole and go to the next one.”

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Yuka Saso, from the Philippines, hits a hit of the third green bunker during the third round of the US Women’s Open Golf Tournament at The Olympic Club, in San Francisco, California, on June 5, 2021. (Jed Jacobsohn / AP Photo)

Saso chatted on the back nine in a row to fall out of the lead before recovering on the 17th par-5 with a birdie to come down to 7 again. She missed a 15-foot par-hole at 18 and ended the day with a setback.

High school amateur in New Jersey, Megha Ganne, shot a 72 and is tied for third place with 3 under Jeongeun Lee of South Korea.

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Megha Ganne smiles at the crowd after pulling off the second green during the third round of the US Women’s Open Golf Tournament at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California, on June 5, 2021. (Jed Jacobsohn / AP Photo)

Shanshan Feng of China was fifth at 2 under, with Japanese Nasa Hataoka and American Megan Khang the only other players below track figure at 1 under.

Saso, who has never finished better than sixth in an LPGA tournament, will play in the final group on Sunday with the chance to join him as the only teenager in South Korea’s Inbee Park. Park did it in 2008 at 19 years, 11 months, 17 days, which will be Saso’s exact age Sunday.

The 17-year-old Ganne was a crowd favorite on the course and kept her composure early with some early matings and birdies on the fifth and ninth holes to get to 5 under the lead. Rugby backs to start the back nine hit her on the standings before confirming herself with seven straight pairs to end the day.

“It was a mental blow out there, and I have never had to act so full of holes for such bad lies and situations and still believe that I will do it again in the next hole,” she said. “So it was a lot, but I’m confident in how I play.”

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Jeongeun Lee, from South Korea, watches as her bunker is shot on the 10th green during the third round of the US Women’s Open Golf Tournament at The Olympic Club, in San Francisco, California, on June 5, 2021. (Jed Jacobsohn / AP Photo)

Lee is at 6 under a birdie on no. 4, but falls off when she plunges into the deep foundation at no. 5 strikes and ends with a double bow.

By Josh Dubow

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Nation World News Desk
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