Thompson sizzles in links win at Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS — Lexi Thompson shot a 4-under-par 68 on Saturday and eased to a four-stroke victory in the Indy Women in Tech Championship at Indianapolis.
Thompson, who opened the tournament with a 63 and shared the second-round lead, finished at 19-under 197 at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course to become the first American woman to win twice on the LPGA Tour this season.
The 22-year-old Thompson, who dropped one spot to No. 3 in the world rankings earlier in the week, celebrated her victory by becoming the first woman to engage in a venerable Indianapolis tradition: Swigging a bottle of milk and kissing the bricks at the finish line of the Indy 500 racetrack.
"I'm very happy that it was me," said Thompson. "It was such a great week overall and it was a huge honor to be here in Indiana to be able to kiss those bricks. Definitely a memory that I'll never forget."
Thompson was able to withstand her first bogey—at the par-4 11th—when second-round co-leader Lydia Ko of New Zealand double-bogeyed the same hole. She quickly padded the lead with birdies at Nos. 13-14 and coasted to the finish.
In keeping with the theme of the city, Thompson took a pair of victory laps around the famed Indy 500 oval, joining Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles in a pace car.
"I'm all about driving fast," said Thompson "I got it up to 122 (mph)."
Ko, who started the year ranked No. 1 before her 84-week reign ended three months, managed to hold off Australia's Minjee Lee by one shot for second place—her first top-10 finish since June.
"I just wasn't putting as well as I did the last few days and that makes a huge difference," said Ko. "When you're in the final round, final group, you kind of want those putts to drop and unfortunately that wasn't happening for me."
Lee used a sizzling finish to cap off her round of 67, notching an eagle and two birdies over the final five holes to finish at 202.
Rookie Olafia Kristinsdottir, the first LPGA Tour to hail from Iceland, also had a memorable end to her round. She chipped in for an eagle at No. 18 to finish alone in fourth place at 203—the best result of her career.
"It's really exciting," said Kristinsdottir. "I have goals and this will get me closer to those goals, so that's really good for me."
Candie Kung, who started the final round one shot off the pace, stumbled to a 74 and finished in a five-way tie for fifth with a group that included Canadian teen Brooke Henderson (69), who will turn 20 on Sunday.