Add Lexi Thompson’s name to the list of golfers who have choked away a major championship.
Playing in the final group, the 26-year-old held a five-shot lead after eight holes in the last round of the US Women’s Open and appeared to be cruising to victory.
However, she suffered a disastrous back nine at The Olympic Club, coming home in 41 and closing with back-to-back bogeys. It all added up to a four-over 75 that left her one shot outside of the playoff, subsequently won by the Philippines’ Yuka Saso.
It was Thompson’s 14th major top-10 finish since her sole victory in the 2014 ANA Inspiration and, though she admitted it was “tough” to take, she was determined to smile it away.
“I really didn't feel like I hit any bad golf shots,” she said. “That's what this golf course can do to you, and that's what I've said all week.
“I'd be the first one to tell you that I hit some bad golf shots and I deserved it, but it's golf.”
Thompson added that she was aware of where she stood in the tournament coming down the stretch but tried to avoid looking at leaderboards.
“I just wanted to come out today and play my game like I have the last few days,” she said. “No matter what happened, I knew if I just committed to my game plan and what I've been working on in my swing, I just want to see it keep on improving over time. Just got a few bad breaks.
“It's hard to smile but it was an amazing week. I played not so good today with a few of the bogeys coming in on the back nine, but the fans were unbelievable, hearing the chants and just gives me a reason to play.
|It was just an unbelievable feeling to be out here and play this golf course. I've never been out here, so it was a blessing, and I'll take today and I'll learn from it and have a lot more weeks ahead, a lot more years. I have a tournament next week, so we'll take it from here.”