NAPLES, Fla. – Lexi Thompson is riding a wave of momentum into this week’s CME Group Tour Championship as she seeks to claim a third victory this season and take home the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot.
Over her last nine starts, Thompson has two victories, a second-place finish and a tie for fourth. She has seven top 10s. Her strong second half has helped move her to No. 4 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings and closer to challenging for world No. 1.
“I would say this has probably been the best year of my career yet, just with the overall consistency of it,” said Thompson, 20, who is in her fourth season as an LPGA member. “Coming into the year, my goal was just to play consistent golf. I worked on my short game a lot in the offseason, and that came around, and overall this year I've stayed very positive on the golf course. So, I'm very happy with that.”
Thompson is one of the best ball-strikers on tour. She’s No. 1 this season in hitting greens in regulation. An improved short game makes her a bigger threat to world No. 1 Lydia Ko, No. 2 Inbee Park and No. 3 Stacy Lewis, all of whom are known for the quality of their short games. Thompson is 39th in putts per greens in regulation this year, her highest ranking in her four full seasons on tour. Lewis, Ko and Park are 1-2-3 in putting this season.
“I think golf always comes down to short game, especially putting,” Thompson said. “I've had my bad putting tournaments and the ups and downs, but I'm going to keep on working on it. I worked really hard in this last offseason, and I'm going to work even harder this off‑season on my short game, because I'm happy with my ball‑striking.
“I do believe that if my short game improves more, that that will get me towards the top [of the world rankings] even more. But I have three spectacular players in front of me. It’s going to be tough to catch them. I definitely need to win a few more times to get up there, but I'm just going to take it one shot at a time. I have my own small goals that I want to accomplish and improving my short game even more is definitely one of my top goals this offseason.”