KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: Who’s hot and who’s not?

Brooke Henderson. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Brooke Henderson. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /
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Lexi Thompson: Rolex Rank – 4, CME Globe Rank – 2

Lexi Thompson will come to Olympia Fields playing for the win. She’s been preparing mentally and physically for this challenge since that oddly concocted and controversial penalty last March at the 2017 ANA Inspiration that snatched the victory from her on the back nine on Sunday.

Thompson took last week off – she didn’t play the WalMart NW Arkansas Championship. She’s coming in rested and with a finely-tuned game. Since her runner-up finish at the ANA Inspiration Thompson hasn’t missed a cut and has finished outside the top-20 only once, at the LPGA Volvik Championship. Ranked fourth in the world by Rolex, Thompson also notched a victory at the Kingsmill and runner-ups at the Manulife LPGA Classic and the Meijer LPGA Classic on her way to this week’s major championship challenge.

Thompson leads the Tour in scoring average, is long off the tee, and although she can get a little wild, her GIR stat – she ranked second of the Tour – tells me she’s very skilled at getting out of trouble and back into position. Along the getting-of-trouble line, she leads the Tour in sand saves. Her putting average – 29.60 putts per round – isn’t spectacular but it’s good enough for her to stay ahead of the field. More important, in her two most recent starts – she finished runner-up both times – Thompson had her flatstick dialed in. She’s averaged 27.63 putts per round for the last eight rounds she’s played, which puts her inside the top five on the Tour.

Check out this pre-KPMG Women’s PGA Championship workout session.  Following a standard first established by Annika Sörenstam for physical fitness, Thompson takes her workouts seriously. Given the results she’s producing, I’d say her gym time is paying off!

With both her long game and her short game well-tuned and her mental game primed for revenge and redemption, Lexi Thompson is going to be the player to watch this week.