Run of the 'mill: Confident Lexi in control

By Randall MellMay 20, 2017, 12:37 am

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Lexi Thompson looks determined to exit the Kingsmill Championship as spectacularly as she entered it.

She also looks determined to show any wounds she may have sustained in her controversial loss at the ANA Inspiration last month are completely healed.

Thompson has been a commanding presence at Kingsmill since she jumped out of an airplane Wednesday strapped to a Navy SEAL and skydived into the first fairway before her pro-am tee time.

With another 6-under-par 65 Friday, Thompson is in position to make a run at winning wire to wire. At 12 under overall, she’s three shots ahead of Gerina Piller (67) and four ahead of Rolex world No. 1 Lydia Ko (67) and Candie Kung (66).

“It’s just a good golf course for me,” said Thompson, who is second on tour in driving distance this year. “I get to hit a lot of drivers, actually, a lot of 3-woods out here as well. I just love the shape of the golf course.”

Thompson was front and center in a firestorm of debate after she was assessed a four-shot penalty on the back nine of the final round of the ANA Inspiration, where she appeared to be on her way to running away with her second major championship title.

Thompson, 22, might have been playing the best golf of her life in Rancho Mirage before she was retroactively penalized two shots for incorrectly marking her ball in the third round and another two shots for signing an incorrect scorecard. She still almost prevailed, losing in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

After a three-week break, Thompson made her return to golf at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, where she showed just how deeply the controversy had wounded her, breaking down in tears in her pretournament news conference.

“It was kind of a nightmare,” Thompson said in Texas.

She tied for 17th at the Shootout.

There were questions about how the ANA loss would affect Thompson, how she would rebound, whether she could keep her confidence and momentum going. She is giving some pretty strong answers. She finished second in a Japan LPGA major two weeks ago, and she is looking to top that here in Virginia.

“She's a great ball-striker and hits it far,” Piller said. “This course definitely suits the long ball hitters, especially now. The greens are firming up and getting a little quicker. To have a shorter iron in is definitely an advantage.”

Thompson has pretty much been all smiles since she unstrapped her jumpsuit after parachuting into Kingsmill Resort Wednesday to promote her new charity benefitting families of wounded and fallen special ops forces.

“This is one of my favorite tournaments to always come back to,” Thompson said. “Not only the golf course, but the venue in general.”

With sharp ball striking and a resurgent putting stroke, Thompson looks like the player to beat. Thompson hit 17 greens in regulation on Thursday. She hit all but one fairway Friday and missed just two greens.

In the offseason, Thompson committed herself to working on her biggest weakness, her putting, and it’s paying dividends. She is taking advantage of a lot of birdie opportunities.

“My game is in a good spot,” Thompson said.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm