Lexi Thompson, through tears, addresses ANA snafu: ‘It was kind of a nightmare’

Lexi Thompson pauses after becoming emotional while speaking to reporters about her loss at the ANA Inspiration.

Lexi Thompson, speaking for the first time since losing the ANA Inspiration in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu earlier this month, likened her four-shot penalty experience to a nightmare.

“I played amazing that week,” Thompson said, through tears. “I don’t think I’ve ever played any better. Just for that to happen…it was kind of a nightmare.”

Thompson is in the field for this week’s Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, her first tournament since the ANA Inspiration. Thompson was assessed a pair of two-stroke penalties for hitting her ball from the wrong spot on the 17th hole and then signing an incorrect scorecard after the third round of the LPGA’s first major. Her violations, however, didn’t surface until the following day, when a TV viewer called the LPGA to report the potential penalties. She was told of the four-stroke penalty walking off the 12th green Sunday, and went from leading the tournament to trailing by two before her eventual playoff loss.

Following much discussion over social media, the USGA and R&A announced Tuesday an immediate change to the rules of golf in an attempt to protect players from being penalized for infractions that “could not reasonably have been seen with the naked eye.” Decision 34-3/10 does not eliminate viewer call-ins.

Thompson said in her press conference that while she could see where the rules officials were coming from, she stands by the fact that she has always played golf by the rules.

“The hardest part, just going through it,” Thompson said, breaking down, “I’ve worked my whole life to have my name on major championship trophies, especially that one. It’s a very special week for me with all the history behind it.”

Thompson said she never intended to mark her ball on the 17th hole during the third round, instead planning to tap in the short putt. But she said she talked herself into marking because she had missed many tap-ins previously. There was nothing in her line, and she referred the condition of the greens as “perfect.”

“I have no reason behind it,” Thompson said of her decision. “I did not mean it at all.

“I mark my ball with a dot and that’s where I focus my eyes on where I want to make contact,” Thompson said. “So when I went to mark it, I just rotated my ball to line up my dot to where my putter would make contact.”

The 22-year-old top-ranked American said she was overwhelmed by the support she received following the loss. She didn’t let it keep her from the game, playing a round with her brothers just two days after the ordeal.

Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte said Wednesday that the USGA, per a source, has not ruled out changing the call-in rule. Many pros, reacting to the USGA and R&A change, thought the amendment could have gone one step further to eliminate viewer call-ins. Thompson is in that camp.

“Do I think it’s right?” Thompson said. “Not really, but it’s not my say.”

courtesy of Marika Washchyshyn (golf.com)

Lexi Thompson Tied For Lead at Evian Championship

Lexi Thompson, of USA, follows her ball after playing on the 15th hole during the first round of the Evian Championship women's golf tournament in Evian, eastern France, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Lexi Thompson, of USA, follows her ball after playing on the 15th hole during the first round of the Evian Championship women’s golf tournament in Evian, eastern France, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Lexi Thompson picked up five shots in four holes in a 5-under 66 to claim a share of the lead with Mi Hyang Lee in the opening round of the Evian Championship on Thursday.

The American made a superb start to the final major of the season at the picturesque resort above Lake Geneva, then managed to stay bogey-free.

Thompson, who was given an early morning start on the back nine in perfect weather conditions, was the sole leader for most of the day until Lee made up for two bogeys with seven birdies to tie for first place.

Thompson’s stunning period started when she birdied the 12th hole. Paired with Sandra Gal and former Evian champion Paula Creamer, she hit a 7-iron to 20 feet and sank an eagle putt on the 13th, and birdied Nos. 14 and 15.

Her day was capped by a remarkable bunker shot on her final hole.

”Ended up trying to go for the green, came up short in a bunker that was about 40 yards away, and chipped it short and had about 15-footer for par,” she said.

She and the up-and-coming South Korean Lee have a one-shot lead over a group of three players: Former U.S. Open champion Eun-Hee Ji, Gerina Piller of the U.S., and Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand.

The 20-year-old Thomson has won a major before, the Kraft Nabisco last year, but she went through a one-year drought before winning the Meijer Classic in July. She has three top-10 finishes in her last five starts.

Looking to complete a career Grand Slam, top-ranked Inbee Park could not find the accuracy that characterized her recent majors, and had to be content with an opening round of 1-over par. Park, who claimed the Women’s British Open last month to become the seventh female to win four different majors, won the Evian in 2012, a year before the U.S. LPGA Tour made it the fifth and final major on its calendar.

Paired with No. 2 Lydia Ko and No. 3 Stacy Lewis, Park bogeyed four holes to finish the day one shot ahead of Lewis, who carded a 2-over 73.

Ko was the best of the elite trio, shooting a 2-under 69. She’s bidding to become the youngest major champion this weekend.

Ko said she was impressed by Thompson.

”I saw her score. I kind of realized it was going pretty low, especially at the start of the round and she was only a couple of groups in front of us,” she said. ”I was on the par-3, 14th or something, and that was only her fifth hole of the day. And I saw her to my left, and it showed her scorecard. I saw some birdies, some eagles, so that’s a pretty consistent scorecard there.”

Michelle Wie’s opening round was not as flamboyant as her aviator shades, new high-top pink shoes, and multicolored hair, as the 2014 U.S. Open winner headed into the clubhouse posting 75.

Although Wie and Paula Creamer (74) endured a bad day, Thompson’s and Piller’s bright openings were good news for the U.S. team for the Solheim Cup next week in St. Leon-Rot, Germany.

courtesy of APNEWS (golf.com)

 

Lexi Thompson’s Cobra Clubs That Won the Meijer LPGA Classic

LexiThompsonStixopenerLexi Thompson’s victory Sunday at the Meijer LPGA Classic is her first of the 2015 season and fifth of her career. Thompson, 20, shot a final-round 65 to defeat Gerina Piller and Lizette Salas by one stroke at 18-under 266.

Below is a look inside Thompson’s bag of Cobra clubs, complete with yardages and comments from an interview in June at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

DRIVER

Cobra AMP Cell Pro, 7.5°, Fujikura ZCom SIX-x shaft, 265 yards; $190

LEXI SAYS: “It feels very solid, and I love the ‘Sunday’ blue. I also love looking down at it and having the confidence that it’s good for me. My usual ball flight is a 10-yard draw, but I can work it left to right, too.”

IRONS

Cobra S2 Forged, 4-PW, Project X Rifle 5.0 shaft; price n/a

4-iron: 191 yards

5-iron: 181 yards

6-iron: 171 yards

7-iron: 161 yards

8-iron: 151 yards

9-iron: 141 yards

PW: 131 yards

LEXI SAYS: “I’ve never been a blade-type person — I love looking at an iron that’s a little bigger. These feel very solid and soft at impact. I don’t shape my irons much. I hit a lot of controlled straight shots, but I can shape these when I need to.”

WEDGES

Cobra Tour Trusty, 51° — 112 yards

56° bent to 55° — 95 yards

60° bent to 59° — 83 yards; $100 each.

All wedges have True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300 shafts.

LEXI SAYS: “When my Cobra guy sets up my wedges, he always does artwork on them. These have a smile. My nephew Nico has his name on there, too. It gets me smiling whenever I pull out a wedge. Make it fun!”

FAIRWAY WOOD

Cobra Fly-Z+ 3/4, 13°, Aldila Tour Blue 60s, 230 yards; $250

LEXI SAYS: “I mostly use it off the tee when I have to dial back. I do go for par 5s with it, but I prefer it off the tee.”

HYBRID

Cobra Fly-Z 2/3, 17.5°

Aldila Tour Green 85s, 210 yards; $200

LEXI SAYS: “I use it to go for par 5s. I like the lower flight, especially on windy days.”

PUTTER

Odyssey Tank Cruiser 330M, 34”, 3° loft; $250

LEXI SAYS: “I’ve had it in my bag since last November. Before that, I didn’t feel comfortable with my speed, and I was really handsy with short putts. This is heavier, and I’m using a big grip, which takes my hands out of it more. I’ve gained a lot of feel. I also changed to cross-hand. I love how I’m putting now.”

LexiThompsonbag

BALL

Callaway SR 3+; $40

LEXI SAYS: “It’s really good into the wind and downwind. It reacts the way I want around the greens, and it checks on little chips.”

LexiThompsongolfball

 

 

courtesy of Rob Sauerhaft (golf.com)