Lexi's pathetic putt costs her a lot of loot

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-21 07:21

NAPLES, Florida - Lexi Thompson never had a putt so short that was potentially worth so much.

She had a one-shot lead when she settled over a two-foot par putt on the final hole on Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship. A victory would be worth $500,000 in prize money and $1 million in a bonus. She would win LPGA player of the year and the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average.

She would rise to No 1 in the world.

She missed.

Moments later, Ariya Jutanugarn capped off her birdie-birdie finish with an 18-foot putt to win the tournament and deny Thompson three of those perks.

"I don't really know what happened there," Thompson said. "It just happens. I guess it's golf. I guess we all go through situations we don't like sometimes."

Thompson has gone through her share of them this year. Unlike the others, this one came with a $1 million consolation.

Jutanugarn birdied four of her last six holes for a 5-under 67 and seized on her good fortune when Thompson missed the short putt to win the $500,000 first prize in Florida.

A wild end to the LPGA season sent four players home with a trophy of some variety.

Although she lost the tournament, Thompson still won the CME Race to the Globe and the $1 million bonus, along with the Vare Trophy.

Thompson had to win the tournament to be player of the year.

Instead, the points-based LPGA honor ended up a tie between a pair of major champions from South Korea, Ryu So-yeon and LPGA rookie Park Sung-hyun.

It marks the first time the award was shared since it began in 1966.

What stood out on another sunny afternoon was the sterling performance of Jutanugarn, who won for the second time this year.

"I had no expectation at all," Jutanugarn said.

"I really did not think about the outcome."

Associated Press

(China Daily 11/21/2017 page24)

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