Lexi Thompson came to the par-5 18th hole at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in a tie for the lead with last week’s U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 although the latter was two groups behind her.
Knowing that the 507-yard finishing hole would likely yield a birdie to her competitor coming down the stretch, Thompson bombed a 190-yard pitching wedge to 20 feet and buried the putt for her 11th career victory.
“With a jumper lie and the wind (at my back), I ended up hitting a pitching wedge, which is my 135 club,” Thompson said after the round. “It ended up landing 50 yards short and rolling up there.”
BOOM 💥 🦅@Lexi takes a two-stroke lead in to the clubhouse
— LPGA (@LPGA) June 9, 2019
“I got chills, like my hair on my arms was sticking up once I made it,” Thompson said of the putt.
Thompson bounced back to earn the two-shot lead for the moment after 3-putting from off the green at the 15th hole, her second bogey in a four-hole stretch. However, knowing the scoring opportunities coming down the stretch was what helped her to keep her mindset positive.
”I just really tried to find the positives in it because I knew coming in there were birdie holes,” Thompson said. ”If I let it affect me, I wouldn’t have finished the way I did. At that point I didn’t know where I was, position-wise. I kind of thought I was behind for sure, a few back.”
Lee6 also had her struggles in the middle of the back nine making three bogeys in a row between the 13th and 15th holes, but she was able to get into a tie with Thompson after birdieing the 16th hole. Needing an eagle to tie on the home hole, Lee6 had a look from 45-feet, but the putt went begging.
FINAL ROUND HIGHLIGHTS ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/7Amltp8lRh
— LPGA (@LPGA) June 10, 2019
Thompson made her professional debut in this event when she was 15 years old in 2010; nine years later, she was the champion of the event.