Shocking Short Miss Costs Lexi Tour Championship



 

A frantic final day of the LPGA Tour season was thrown into even more chaos on the 72nd green when Lexi Thompson had a two-foot putt that would have given her a two-shot clubhouse lead. Instead, the virtual tap-in barely touched the hole and the 22-year-old was left to wait as Ariya Jutanugarn finished birdie-birdie in clutch fashion to win the CME Group Tour Championship outright.

 

There were some consolations for Thompson, but those won’t be able to completely wash out the thought of missing the short putt as the LPGA Tour enters its two-month offseason.

GolfChannel.com’s Randall Mell wrapped up the LPGA’s final event

Lexi Thompson can take a punch.

You have to give her that.

So can Ariya Jutanugarn, who beat Thompson in the gut-wrenching conclusion to the CME Group Tour Championship Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

They both distinguished themselves overcoming adversity this season.

The problem for Thompson now is that she’ll have to wait two months to show her resolve again. She will go into the long offseason with the memory of missing a 2-foot putt for par that could have won her the championship, her first Rolex Player of the Year Award and her first Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Thompson took home the CME Globe $1 million jackpot and Vare Trophy for low scoring as nice consolation prizes, but the Sunday finish was a lot like her season.

It was so close to being spectacular.

She was so close to dominating this year.

That last 2-foot putt Sunday would have put Thompson in the clubhouse at 15 under, with a one-shot lead, which would have added so much more pressure to Jutanugarn as she closed out.

Instead of needing to birdie the final two holes to force a playoff, Jutanugarn only needed to birdie one of them to assure extra holes. She went birdie-birdie anyway.

Thompson was on the practice putting green when she heard the day’s last roar, when Jutanugarn rolled in a 15-foot birdie to beat her.

“It wasn’t the way I wanted to end it,” Thompson said of the short miss. “I don’t really know what happened there. It just happens. I guess it’s golf.”

Thompson was asked if the weight of everything at stake affected her.

“No, honestly, I wasn’t thinking about it,” she said. “I putted great the whole day. I guess, maybe, there was just a little bit of adrenaline.

“We all go through situations we don’t like sometimes.”

 

Here are the complete final round highlights of the CME Group Tour Championship.

 

[GolfChannel.com]

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