Lexi Thompson Milks the Applause after Second Title of Season
This has been a year that Lexi Thompson will not forget in a hurry. Back in April she seemed certain to win the ANA Inspiration, one of women's golf's majors, until a rules violation spotted by a TV viewer cost her a four-shot penalty and she ended up losing a playoff to So Yeon Ryu. She was devastated, and finished the tournament in tears.
But Thompson is a tough competitor and she has just become the first American to achieve multiple wins this season with a four-shot victory over Lydia Ko in the inaugural Indy Women in Tech Championship. She also won the Kingsmill Championship in May in Virginia.
Thompson celebrated by sipping some milk, before pouring the rest over her head. As you do. Thompson, who seems to have been around forever but is still only 22 years old, closed with a four-under 68 to finish at 19-under 197 at Brickyard Crossing, the Pete and Alice Dye-designed course that weaves around and inside the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“i am regretting it now because I feel really gross," Thompson said, referring to the first milk bath by a female champion in Indy history. "Then I went around the track in a Corvette Stingray, which I also have one there at home. It was just an amazing experience. That made my day.”
Shortly after collecting the Waterford crystal trophy and the champions' wreath on the 18th green, Thompson was driven to the track's start-finish line where she kneeled down in front of cameras and kissed the bricks. Then, after taking a quick sip, she doused herself in almond milk.
"Here goes this outfit," Thompson said with milk running down her nose. The consolation is that the victory takes Thompson from third to second in the world rankings ahead of the Evian Championship, the final women's major of the year.
It was her ninth career LPGA Tour title. Ko had a chance to end a 14-month winless streak, but the 20-year-old New Zealander couldn't keep up with Thompson over the final 10 holes. T
While Thompson had six more birdies Saturday, she also had two back-nine bogeys and had to scramble to avoid more trouble. Ko, who had only one bogey during the first two rounds, wound up with a bogey and double bogey in a closing 72.
“Lexi played great," Ko said. "She had some 3- or 4-footers for par and she made all of them, so it just shows you how much confidence she was playing with. But it was great being in this position. I had a three-putt on the third hole and that was my first three-putt of the weekend. I tried to bring it back, but I just wasn't putting as well today as did the other couple of days.”
Candie Kung started the day a shot behind Thompson and Ko, but finished with 74 to tie for fifth at 15 under. Minjee Lee was third at 14 under after a 67. Iceland's Olafia Kristindottir (68) was another stroke back.
Thompson bogeyed the par-four 11th and gave back another stroke after hitting her tee shot into the water at the 16th. She nearly gave away another at the 17th when her second shot rolled through the green. But she finished with a birdie at the 18th.
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