Daily Press (Sunday)

Thompson misses cut, but inspires kids


LAS VEGAS — Lexi Thompson delivered star-power moments built for a stage like Las Vegas, and when she poured in a pair of long birdie putts Friday, she was on the cusp of history.

Thompson was 4 under with seven holes to play. In her sights was a chance to become the first woman in 78 years to make a 36-hole cut on the PGA Tour.

One poor swing, one mediocre chip and one missed putt at the end left her on the outside of the cut at the Shriners Children’s Open, but no less proud of two days she won’t soon forget. She wanted to inspire kids to chase their dreams, and she did all of that at TPC Summerlin.

“Playing with the guys — amazing feeling,” Thompson said after a 2-under 69. “Growing up with guys, I’ve always wanted to be out on a PGA Tour event and tee it up. But the biggest thing was seeing the kids out there outside the ropes and then meeting a few of the Shriners ambassador­s. That was the most special.”

Her golf was a close second. Thompson made five birdies in a 10-hole stretch, only to make two bogeys toward the end and missing a 6-foot birdie putt on her final hole. She had rounds of 73-69 to finish at even-par 142, missing the cut by three shots.

Former VCU golfer Lanto Griffin ran off five straight birdies for a 66, while Cameron Champ had a 67 in the morning wave. They shared the lead at 12-under 130.

“Very proud. I played really well today,” said Thompson, who hit 12 of 14 fairways and only missed four greens. “As the day went on, I tried

to stay committed to my targets out there and to my swing thoughts and just enjoyed the whole experience.”

Her 69 was one short of the record by a female on the PGA Tour — Michelle Wie twice shot 68 in the Sony Open, once as a 14-yearold when she missed the cut by one shot.

Thompson was 4 under for the round through 11 holes, and 2 under for the tournament.

“I knew once I had made a few birdies in a row that I would be somewhat close, but I knew the cut line would keep on going lower and lower with these guys, especially with not that much wind out there,” Thompson said.

The cut was at 1 under when she walked off the ninth green — her last hole. But it already was at 2 under after she signed her card with ideal scoring conditions, and it was bound to go lower.

Thompson was the seventh woman to play on the PGA Tour. Babe Didrikson Zaharias was the last to make a 36-hole cut, in 1945.

This was never about winning. Thompson was 11 shots out of the lead after the first round. She finished in a tie for 85th in the 132-player field.

Even so, Thompson delivered a highlight in an otherwise rough year. She hasn’t won on the LPGA Tour in more than four years, and she was in jeopardy of losing her LPGA card until posting a pair of top-10s before arriving in Las Vegas.

Thompson said she would take the next few weeks off before returning to the LPGA in Florida for the conclusion of the season.

ORLANDO RAMIREZ/ ?? Lexi Thompson poses for a photo with a young fan after her second round at the Shriners Children’s Open on Friday in Las Vegas.
GETTY ORLANDO RAMIREZ/ Lexi Thompson poses for a photo with a young fan after her second round at the Shriners Children’s Open on Friday in Las Vegas.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States