Lexi Thompson hides the pain, remains a fan favorite in the Women’s PGA

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Lexi Thompson hit a birdie putt on her last gap of the US Ladies’s Open this month, walked to the scoring facility adjoining to the 18th inexperienced on the Pine Needles Golf Membership in Southern Pines, North Carolina, and acquired the harrowing replace on the that he had been getting ready.

His ailing grandmother Mimi had died earlier that day, however Thompson’s group withheld the knowledge till they reached an surroundings that provided at the least a modicum of privateness. When instructed, Ella Thompson started to sob, despite the fact that she had made her peace with the inevitable as she sat by the bedside throughout her beloved grandmother’s last days.

After a chronic emotional launch and far consolation from these closest to her, the sixth-ranked participant on the earth returned overseas to satisfy all of the autograph requests and pose for dozens of images.

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β€œIt was very troublesome, however I do know she would need me to do it,” Thompson, 27, stated Tuesday on the Congressional Nation Membership in Bethesda, the positioning of this week’s Ladies’s PGA Championship. β€œIt is very important give again to the followers. I imply, they took day out of their lives to assist me, for higher or worse. The least I can do is give them a few of my time.”

In a number of situations, Thompson fought again tears earlier than talking to younger followers delighted to spend even a couple of seconds in his firm. Nonetheless, she pressed on, not eager to deny the star-studded ladies her second with a golf function mannequin who has turn into maybe probably the most recognizable face of her technology within the ladies’s recreation.

Her followers did not care that Thompson had posted a five-over-par 76 within the last spherical or that she completed tied for twentieth in her quest for her first US Ladies’s Open title. What mattered was that Thompson, grieving inside, nonetheless gave herself regardless of the circumstances.

β€œShe is a exceptional participant, however an much more exceptional individual,” stated LPGA Tour Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. β€œShe’s superb with the ladies and the followers that come to see her, and he or she’s only a great supervisor. I like watching her play as a result of she is only a killer athlete, however while you get to know the private aspect of her, she makes it even higher.”

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The demand for Thompson’s consideration in Congress, the place the 11-time LPGA winner is among the many favorites within the third main on the ladies’s golf calendar, was a lot the identical after her morning pro-am on the blue course ended. .

Thompson paused to signal and pose with youngsters and adults alike within the clubhouse, thanking all of the volunteers who accompanied her group and acknowledging the applause and phrases of encouragement nearly all over the place she went.

The hunt for Thompson’s first PGA Ladies’s Championship victory begins Thursday at 1:23 p.m. within the first main professional contested within the DC space for the reason that 2011 US Open. It additionally marks the primary ladies’s race in Congress. .

Thompson is on the lookout for her second main victory and first since 2014, when she outpointed Michelle Wie West by three strokes on the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Nation Membership in Rancho Mirage, California.

“Lexi, she would not want a final title, does she?” stated Stacy Lewis, a two-time Grand Slam champion and 2023 US Solheim Cup captain who completed third behind Thompson on the Kraft Nabisco in 2014. β€œShe’s the one one who most likely would not want a final title. Everybody is aware of who she is.”

Thompson ranks first in Solheim Cup factors, making her a digital lock for the sixth consecutive look and including to a adorned worldwide resume that features representing america on the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. Subsequent yr’s Solheim can be held in Andalusia, Spain.

Thompson initially gained accolades in golf circles in 2011 by turning into the youngest participant in historical past to win an LPGA Tour occasion, recording three straight rounds within the ’60s en path to a five-stroke victory on the LPGA Traditional. on the Senator Course in Prattville. To.

She was simply 16 years, 7 months and eight days previous, a file that New Zealander Lydia Ko has since damaged.

Thompson has been mired in a relative stoop of late, having final gained on the 2019 ShopRite Traditional. It is the longest drought of his profession. His recreation, nonetheless, stays pristine, at the least statistically, giving Thompson, in his personal phrases, little cause to panic.

He ranks first in greens in regulation (76.5 %), third in complete photographs gained (2.26 per spherical), and sixth in driving distance (274.68 yards). He, too, is coming off a tie for fifth in final week’s LPGA Traditional, lacking a three-way playoff by two strokes.

“Simply the way in which he performs and his means to hit the golf ball itself is so spectacular,” Lewis stated. “You see her stroll round and the way in which she treats the followers and the little children, you recognize, it is one thing that I believe a variety of younger gamers may be taught loads from.”

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