Lexi Thompson missed out on becoming the second-ever woman to make the cut at a PGA Tour event as she finished level par after two rounds at the Shriners Children’s Open.
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Thompson rolled in five birdies in her two-under 69 at the TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas on Friday but fell three shots short of the cut line at three under par.
The 28-year-old, an 11-time winner on the LPGA Tour, is just the seventh woman to play on the PGA Tour and the first in five years after receiving a sponsors’ invitation to compete.
The last woman to make a 36-hole cut on the PGA Tour was Babe Didrikson Zaharias in 1945. Michelle Wie West made eight PGA Tour starts, her last coming in 2008, but missed the cut in all appearances.
“It’s an amazing feeling, not only to have my parents out here to support me, but just to be able to come here and follow my dreams,” said Thompson.
“It’s something I wanted to do. I played against my brothers growing up and all the guys were so welcoming, so I’m very grateful for that.
“The biggest thing was being out there and seeing those kids and meeting some of the Shriners kids as well. That’s what this tournament is all about and what Shriners does is give the opportunity for these kids to live their best life.
“It’s the best feeling. Just seeing the amount of kids out there screaming, ‘go Lexi!’ It makes me tear up sometimes because that’s what I played for, to inspire these little kids – boys and girls – to get a club in their hand or follow their dreams, whether it’s golf or anything in life. I’m happy I’m doing so. Hopefully it inspires them to go after what they want.”.
Thompson’s 69 on Friday was just the third round in the 60s by a woman on the PGA Tour. Wie shot 68 (-2) on two occasions at the 2004 and 2006 Sony Open.
Thompson had to come back to TPC Summerlin early Friday to finish her first round after Thursday’s action was suspended due to darkness.
After opening her second round with a bogey on No 10, Thompson’s second shot at the par-four 11th landed four feet short of the hole. That was the first of three birdies over her next five holes, also converting at the par-five 13th and the short par-four 15th.
She then made the turn and sank birdie putts from 24 and 28 feet away at the first and second holes to move to four under with seven holes to play, a score which would have been good enough to see her stay for the weekend.
But a tee shot out of bounds at the par-three fifth led to a bogey, before she bogeyed the eighth and settled for par at the ninth.
Asked if she felt more pressure coming into the week than normal, she added: “Not a lot of pressure. Making the cut was the goal. I knew I had to play my A-game, I knew there were some difficult holes out there.
“There were a few birdie holes! Like the par-fives. But just coming into the week, it was more of a message than playing golf. I enjoy playing with the guys but inspiring the kids, that’s what I enjoyed the most.”.
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