American Lexi Thompson is a woman on fire at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia! Trailing tournament leader Ilhee Lee by 1 shot mid-way through the 72-hole event, Thompson carded a 67 for the 1st round, a 63 for the 2nd, and is going in to the 3rd round on Saturday 12 shots under par. But that’s not the entire story of Thompson’s performance at the Sime Darby. Thompson’s 1st round included a double bogey on 10 and a bogey on the par-5 16. She got her 63 on the 2nd round with an eagle sandwiched between a string of 4 birdies. That’s quite an improvement!
What’s changed for Thompson, an 18-year old who turned pro last year and is ranked 21st by Rolex? She says it was playing for Team USA in the 2013 Solheim Cup. The second-year LPGA Tour member said she has felt dramatic improvements in her confidence on the course since playing on one of the biggest stages in women’s golf.
That is probably the most pressure you’ll ever play under. So I get out to a regular LPGA event, and I’m a lot more relaxed now. Hitting those shots under pressure, you know you can do it once you pull them off. So you come out here and have nothing but confidence . . .
Lexi Thompson, On Her Solheim Turn-Around
Lexi Thompson became the youngest American to play in the Solheim Cup at 18 years, 6 months and 6 days old when she joined Team USA at the 13th staging of the biennial event this year.
Thompson’s had a good year on the LPGA Tour. Even without a victory on her 2013 resume, she’s finished in the top-10 at the HSBC Women’s Championship in February, the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic in May, the Marathon Classic in July, the Safeway Classic in August, and The Evian Championship in September. The next 2 days will give Thompson the chance to add another top-10 to her resume, or put this one in the win column.
How far does the Solheim Effect extend? Thompson’s performance over the next 36 holes in Malaysia could give us a clue.