Pattaya, Thailand: Lexi Thompson claimed her seventh LPGA title in impressive fashion at the Honda LPGA Thailand with a final-round four-under 68 for a six-shot victory over reigning US Women’s Open champion Chun In-gee.
With the win,Thompson will move to number three in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking and will surpass Stacy Lewis as the top-ranked American.
“It means the world to me,” said Thompson. “I’m out here not only representing myself but representing my country being an American, and this being a huge year with the Olympics. But I’m just trying to focus on my own game, not anybody else’s. Just trying to do my best and I’m very grateful for the opportunity that I’m out here following my dreams, honestly.”
Thompson started the day with a four-shot lead over Chun but the South Korean made things interesting early with three consecutive birdies straight out of the gate to cut the lead to just one.
“I was just saying I had to make birdies to win this thing,” said Thompson. “She was playing unbelievable with a three-birdie start there, and I knew I had to make birdies to stop her. I was just trying to focus on my game and nobody else’s out there.”
Thompson picked up her first birdies on six and eight to extend the lead to three but dropped her only shot of the day on the ninth to cut the lead back to two.
The 21-year-old hit her most critical shot of the day and responded with an incredible second shot on the par-five 10th hole to set her up for a four-foot eagle putt. Thompson hit her five-iron perfectly to the front edge of the green where it rolled just enough to catch the downward slope to take it winding down toward the hole. “That was a round changer,” said Thompson.
Up by three shots with eight holes to play, Thompson knew she wanted to stay out of trouble and did so in the final stretch. She picked up her final birdie on 15 to get to 20-under. Chun stumbled on the back nine with three bogeys and a double on the 17th to let Thompson enjoy her walk down the 18th fairway.
The six-shot win marks the largest margin of victory in Thompson’s career, besting her previous mark of five shots at her first win, the 2011 Navistar Classic.
“I’ve definitely had a smile on my face ever since I was walking up to the 18th green,” said Thompson. “I had a great week out there. I always look forward to coming to Thailand to play Siam Country Club. It’s a great venue and the tournament is one of my favorites.”