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Sunday
Nov192017

Lexi Thompson Is A Million Dollars Richer Tonight, Mercifully

We know golf is cruel but few have experienced a year like Lexi Thompson, who dealt with an ugly rules infraction at the ANA Inspiration and costing her a major. Then her mother battled cancer and, with the season ending CME Group Tour Championship in her sights, Thompson missed one of the shorter putts you'll ever see. And she wasn't close.

But there is great news! She won the season-long Race To the CME Globe in spite of the miss and world No. 5 Ariya Jutanagarn capitalized with a clutch last hole birdie for the tournament win. As Beth Ann Nichols notes in her Golfweek game story, the LPGA season ended as it essentially started: with Thompson heartbreak.

Bill Fields, filing for ESPN.com, sets up the scene:

Thompson went to No. 18 leading by one and was on the green of the 425-yard par 4 in regulation. From 60 feet after reading the putt with caddie Kevin McAlpine, she lagged beautifully, cozying her ball two feet left of the hole. So little was left that if Thompson hadn't been worried about stepping in the lines of fellow competitors Austin Ernst and Jessica Korda, she said she would have putted instead of marking.

When it was time, to finish off a tournament and end a trying season in style, there was no reason to call McAlpine over for his opinion. "I just mentioned to her, 'You've got it,' and my job's done," said McAlpine, who didn't watch what happened next.

And it's best.

Kevin Casey at Golfweek with the roundup of Tweets and other Thompson comments after the ghastly miss. Kids, cover your eyes, this is not a stroke to emulate:

Because the event was telecast on ABC, there do not appear to be any packaged highlights available for embed or reference. So Lexi has that going for her. And $1 million well earned after a long, but consistently good 2017 season.

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Reader Comments (31)

Lexi's missed putt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOCPifOGxz4
11.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
Now we understand why she would do a cheat-by-marker on a two-foot putt. It wasn’t a mistake, it was a subconscious move by someone who knows she has a potential yip on a short one at any given moment.
11.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Lexi missed several short putts in A Jutanugarn’s other win in Canada this year too. Don’t like that to become a trend for such a young player.

That win also would have got her two points toward the Hall of Fame also as a win gets one point and the Player of the Year gets one point also. Between this and the ANA she lost four points toward making the Hall someday.
11.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGriffin
Watch her hands. She draws them inward just before the stroke. Looks like a dead shove to me?
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
You beat me to it Hawkeye. Exactly.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Shouldn't the article read "caused a rules infraction" ? Cause nothing happens if she, you know, puts her ball back where it was.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
I'm not able to look it up at the moment, but does anyone know if getting DQ'd at that tournament would have meant she lost out on this thing? Or did she have enough points/money from the other tournaments?
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
@ Pat, good point. I wasn't a big fan of hers to start, and that incident certainly didn't improve my view. I felt then, and do now, that she should have been DQ'd. If that decision allowed her to win this 'race', then shame on the LPGA.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBDF
BDF Why should she have been DQ'ed?
The rules were followed to the letter
11.20.2017 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
Karma's a bitch. But a year of losing third-round leads and other such stuff is plenty.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterErik J. Barzeski
Brushing that missed putt off as, "this is just golf" ... is true... and golf also gives us a little peek into her soul.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterZokol
good point Hawkeye
11.20.2017 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
@Metro18, whatever...clearly moving a ball, signing an incorrect scorecard, denying anything she did was wrong despite obvious evidence to the contrary...the ruling may have been correct based on the current 'it's not my fault' mantra, but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it isn't an eagle. EJB is correct, Kharma's a bitch.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBDF
Zokol: I'm curious what you meant when you wrote "... gives us a little peek into her soul". What do you see when you look into Lexi Thompson's soul?
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSchlasser
That looked way closer than 2 feet.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterConvert
Two things popped into my head when I saw that yesterday. Years ago Johnny Bench was playing the senior tour and the celebrity event in Tahoe. An interviewer asked him why he missed so many easy short putts and Bench said “ they aren’t easy if you are missing them”. Second watching her take so much time,calling in her caddie, etc. I thought of Jim Colbert when he was interviewed about short putting. He said If he took too long he would ask himself am I trying to find a way to miss this putt or make it.
I hope she can fix it but right now no one in her camp seems to want to take this issue on. For such a talent she seems to lack confidence.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMunihack
She has emotional trauma attached to those short putts... call it yips... call it Karma... she hasn't been truthful to herself.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterZokol
Thanks, Zokol.

The yips are, be they chipping, driving or putting, tough to accept for anyone let alone a person who makes their living trying to battle them. When it comes to coping with poor shots, regardless of who's to blame, denial is severely underrated.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSchlasser
@Schlasser

Yes, it's actually it's an accelerant to the problem... and the problem resided within.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterZokol
I think calling this the 'yips' might be exaggerating it some as she makes plenty of short putts but seems to have more problems when the outcome is most important. Some of the other more well known cases of the yips have been throughout a player's round no matter the importance. Even with the baseball version where guys like Steve Sax, Chuck Knoblauch and Mackey Sasser had problems with routine throws and in some of their cases they would have no problem with tougher throws it was only the routine ones where the malady showed itself.

But, regardless, this is something that she will have to overcome if she wants to be truly great going forward.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGriffin
Griffin,

That's exactly how the yips work and, yes, I know of what I speak. You can be going along just fine and then they jump up and grab you but once they show up, you've got 'em for the duration of the day. I've had days when I look like a young Seve out there and then all of a sudden the yippers show up. Bottom line, if Lexi's putt wasn't a yip... I don't know what a yip is and, sadly, I know all too well what a yip is!
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSchlasser
Schlasser,

Ok. I've never had this affliction but I still don't think that is what this is. Or at the very least it's not a serious case of the yips. For example Tiger's chipping yips a couple of years ago started from go and my baseball examples were on routine simple plays not just on plays in the ninth inning. Maybe it's just semantics because she definitely has an issue but the fact that it seems more pronounced when closing out a tournament makes me think it's more complex.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGriffin
NASCAR and RSM are to blame for time buy
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPG
Griffin and Schlasses as Henry Longhurst said "The yips - once youve had them, you've got them"
1. You can't win season long anything with the yips.

2. Suggesting that she intentionally moved her ball closer just confirms you don't know what you're talking about.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJK
@JK not aware of anyone saying she moved it closer. There's no doubt it didn't go back in the same place and it was so far away from the original spot there had to be a reason why.
11.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEmmet
JK: No one ever said closer. She just got caught teeing it up on the green like folks do in a casual Sunday morning 4-ball at many clubs across the land.

She's got some gremlins in her short range ball rolling skills for sure.That jump up through impact on full shots isn't easy to time over and over again. Good for her if she was able to get a season long W and some bonus $$$
11.20.2017 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Karma at work here.

For her sake I hope how she's handling and responding to these negative events is due to her immaturity and not her character because if it's the latter she's in for a rough career.
11.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul
Yips can happen in anything, even ordering from a food menu. Hopefully, Lexi will overcome whatever's missing. Introspection by couch potatoes is particularly a bitch.
11.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFC
The putt Lexi missed was at least two feet and maybe almost three feet. The camera angle makes it appear much shorter than it was. It looks like she either played it outside the hole or opened up the clubhead. It was a putt that the average amateur would probably miss one out of five times.
Some old pro once missed a similar putt to lose a tournament and one of the club members said he choked. The pro then bet the member $1000 that he could not make the putt even with a week of practice. The next week, the member put his money down and promptly missed the putt.
11.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDave
Dave, it wasn't three feet. It was just under 24". Check it out if you want: https://cl.ly/2U0h3z0A3A3T. The average am is not 80% from 23".
11.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterErik J. Barzeski

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