Lexi Thompson inches from PGA Tour history at Shriners Children’s Open despite stellar round

Lexi Thompson inches from PGA Tour history at Shriners Children’s Open despite stellar round

Lexi Thompson will miss the cut at the Shriners Children’s Open, but the fact that she finished at even par through 36 holes is remarkable in and of itself.

She played incredibly and admirably.

“I am very proud [of how I played],” Thompson said after her round Friday.

“I played really well today. As the day went on, I tried to stay committed to my targets out there and to my swing thoughts and just enjoyed the whole experience.”

The LPGA Tour star signed for a 2-under 69 on Friday, which included five birdies.

Lexi Thompson, Shriners Children’s Open, PGA Tour

Lexi Thompson lines up a putt during the second round of the 2023 Shriners Children’s Open.
Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images

Her putter caught fire for a brief time, which caught the full attention of the golfing world.

She was 4-under through 11 holes, threatening to become the first woman to make the cut at a modern PGA Tour event.

“I was impressed,” said Trevor Werbylo, Thompson’s playing partner for the first two rounds.

“She hits the ball really well. Yeah, it was fun seeing her make a run today. All in all, I’d say very, very impressed.”

The most impressive shot of the day for Thompson came at the 15th, a drivable 296-yard par-4.

Thompson hit a beautiful draw off the tee, which settled on the green 29 feet from the pin. She proceeded to two-putt for birdie.

Later, at the 1st hole, Thompson drained a 24-footer for birdie. Then, on the very next hole, she rolled in a 28-foot putt, which put her at 2-under for the tournament.

But she made a costly bogey on the par-3 5th after hitting her tee shot into the penalty area.

Then, she had a great chance to bounce back with a birdie at the par-4 7th, but her birdie attempt missed by four inches. She then missed crucial putts at the par-3 8th and par-5 9th to finish it off.

“I knew once I had made a few birdies in a row that I would be somewhat close, but I knew the cut line would keep going lower and lower with these guys, especially with not much wind out there,” Thompson said.

Lexi Thompson, PGA Tour, Shriners Children’s Open

Lexi Thompson smiles with the media after her second round at the 2023 Shriners Children’s Open.
Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images

Had those putts dropped, Thompson very likely would have made the cut.

“We were kind of rooting for her the last few holes to maybe make a birdie or two to make the cut, but it was fun,” Werbylo added. “She was great, her game was great, and the crowd was awesome.”

When Thompson walked off the course, the cutline sat at 1-under.

But since Thompson went out early, and half of the field remains on the course, the cutline will likely balloon to 2-under, or perhaps even to three.

Alas, Thompson’s play this week should inspire golfers all over the world. Kudos to the event organizers for giving Thompson a well-earned sponsor’s exemption.

And best of all, the LPGA star made the most of her appearance in Las Vegas.

“Meeting some of the Shriners kids, ambassadors, was probably the highlight [of the week],” Thompson said. “Just being with them, giving a clinic, giving golf lessons, and just hopefully inspiring them to go after what they want. That was probably the most special.”

That is selfless, which is what Shriners Hospitals for Children—and Thompson—is all about.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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