NEW YORK: American star Lexi Thompson is back in the winner’s circle after holding her nerve to take the individual title at the Aramco Team Series — New York.
The Ladies European Tour win at Trump Golf Links Ferry Point marks the 27-year-old World No. 4’s first title since the ShopRite LPGA Classic in 2019.
In bright and breezy conditions in New York, Thompson held off the challenge from world No. 6 Brooke Henderson and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom on Saturday with a final round of 69 to finish three shots clear on eleven-under-par.
Starting the final round two shots clear, Thompson took advantage of an early Korda bogey to birdie her first hole and build an early cushion that she maintained all day. Thompson’s putter remained hot all week and four birdies on the friendlier back nine eased her away from a chasing pack.
“I came into today just the way I played yesterday, just playing aggressive golf, and being kind of fiery,” she said.
“I hit a great shot on No. 1 to like six, seven feet and made it, and I wanted to play fearless golf and not play away from pins by any means and commit to my shots. I hit some really good ones and I hit some iffy ones but with this wind and everything, you have to take the bad ones as best you can.”
Thompson’s win, with her brother on her bag this week, comes off the back off several Top 10s this year with the hard work away from the course paying off for the Floridian.
“I’ve been working extremely hard on my game. I felt like it was a matter of time but just wanted to play golf and put myself in contention in the final rounds and learn from the losses that I had and what I needed to work on, which I brought into today.”
Brooke Henderson, making her Aramco Team Series debut, found her best form of the week in the final round to make a late charge with a flurry of late birdies on the back nine in conditions that suited the supreme ball-striker. The Canadian carded a round of 68 for a tie of second on eight-under-par with Sagstrom.
“I feel like I was just trying to make some birdies and climb as much as I could,” said the two-time major winner.
“I was happy to shoot 4-under out there in the wind. I feel like my game is in a good spot, which is exciting leading into the rest of the LPGA season in a few weeks, and hopefully I can finish strong because it’s been a really fun year.”
Nelly Korda was bidding for back-to-back Aramco Team Series wins but three bogeys on her front nine stalled her progress. The World No. 4 unsurprisingly battled back, coming home in 33 shots with three birdies for a round of 72 and fourth place (-7).
“It was very frustrating start to the day — very odd on the front nine, said Korda. “I just didn’t feel like myself. But then got it going on the back nine and I finished strong. It was a good confidence boost. It’s really nice to see Lexi win and it’s really good for golf for her to win as well. She played really solid golf and she’s been playing really solid golf this year. It was just around the corner,” she said.
Madelene Sagstrom was frustrated to not get over the line today but admitted it was nice to be back in contention in a big tournament playing alongside Thompson and Korda in the final group.
“We all come out here to try and win,” she said. “That’s what the mindset was coming in for the week. I haven’t really been in this kind of situation for a while, so it’s nice to be back. I think every time we play with top players, it makes you a little better. Playing with them and being comfortable and being in that situation is always good.”
The Aramco Team Series reaches its 2022 climax next month for the final event of the year in Jeddah at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.