Meijer LPGA Classic Presented by Kraft
Bylthefield Country Club
Grand Rapids, Mich.
July 26, 2015
Lexi Thompson calmly tapped in a two foot par putt on 18 to capture the fifth win of her career at the 2015 Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft.
“It feels amazing,” Thompson said. “It still hasn’t really hit me yet because everything happened so fast. But it was a great day out there and we had perfect weather for it, so couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Thompson tallied eight birdies against two bogeys to post a fi nal round 65 to finish at 18-under for the week and claim a one-shot victory over Lizette Salas and Gerina Piller.
“Really the whole day I was just trying to play my own game,” Thompson said. “I was just trying to focus on my own game, focus on my pre shot routine and having fun in between shots and I think that’s what helped me shoot 6 under today.”
The Florida native entered the final round four shots behind Salas but made up the defi cit quickly with birdies on four of her first seven holes. Thompson was then able to take the lead with a birdie on the next hole and eventually stretched her cushion to as many as three after the 16th. Salas and Piller each had the lead down to a single shot after Thompson made bogey at 17 but thanks to a new mental approach, Thompson was able to calm her nerves and make par on 18 for the win.
“I had been working on the mental side of the game with John Denny down in South Florida and that has helped me out tremendously just to relax and have fun instead of just grinding 24/7 on the golf course,” Thompson explained. “It’s helped me out a lot. I knew it was coming, I was just trying to be patient.”
Following her post round interviews, Thompson quickly hopped in a car to Detroit Metro Airport for a flight to Scotland where she will look to capture the second Major Championship of her career at the RICOH Women’s British Open.
“Yeah, it’s defi nitely momentum going into the next week being a major and going over to the British Open.”
PILLER PUNCHES A T2 ON SUNDAY
Gerina Piller made her way up the leaderboard Sunday shooting a final-round 64 to finish T2 at 17-under par. Piller started the day at 10-under par, six shots behind the then leader Lizette Salas (-16). After birding seven of her first 12 holes, Piller was in the mix for clinching her fi rst career victory.
“You know, I think I just got off to a really good start,” Piller said. “On the fi rst tee, for me, that tee shot’s a really difficult one because it narrows up as far as you hit it. So hitting it in that fairway and getting it up there in two and making birdie to start off the round, I think that was huge. Just kind of carried that momentum and just hit really good shots and putted well.”
After 107 starts and 86 cuts made, Piller has yet to fi nd herself in the winner’s circle but her second career second place finish gave her confi dence heading into the remaining 2015 season, especially considering the final push for the Solheim Cup team.
“You know, just coming out here and just giving myself a chance to win, I’ve never won before, so that’s a success in my own book,” Piller said. “I just keep doing what I’m doing. Like I said, the rest will take care of itself.”
SALAS COMES UP SHORT BUT IMPRESSES
Lizette Salas started her fi nal round of the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft with a four-shot lead and what looked to be a cruise into the winner’s circle but Lexi Thompson had other plans for her. Thompson birdied three of her first five holes and with pars for Salas on those same five holes, Salas saw her lead fading away.
“Yeah, it just didn’t come off to the start that I wanted,” Salas said. “And obviously I can’t control what Lexi does and she played an amazing day of golf, so really proud of her.”
Salas was able to keep herself in the hunt Sunday and began to pick up speed on her back nine. Thompson had a three-shot lead, but after a bogey on 17 for Thompson,and a birdie for Salas, the USC grad found herself just one-shot back heading to the 18th tee box.
Both Thompson and Salas hit par on the 18th hole and Thompson clinched her fi fth LPGA Tour victory with Salas tying Gerina Piller for a T2 fi nish. Although it was not the fairytale ending Salas was hoping for, she found a lot of positive from her performance this week.
“Hopefully this week will impress Captain Juli Inkster with the way I performed,” Salas said. “Solheim is on my mind and it’s a primary goal, but in order to get there you have to hit good golf shots and you’ve got to make putts, so I’ll make sure to be doing that in the following weeks.”
Inkster, who finished 15th, would be proud to see the fi nal leaderboard at the 2015 Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft as three Americans took the top three spots and eight Americans were in the top eleven.
“The fact that we had three Americans in the top three, that says a lot about American golf right now and we’re up and coming,” Salas said with a smirk. “Some good things happened this weekend, so I’m pretty glad.”
EAGLES FOR A CAUSE
Eight total eagles were made on Sunday at the Meijer LPGA Classic and players raised $8,000 toward the Wounded Warrior Project as part of the season-long Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends. The eight eagles today, in addition to two eagles made on Saturday, brings the total for the year to 154 and $154,000 raised. The 150th eagle was registered by Brittany Lang.
Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends is a season-long charity program that will be tied into the Race to the CME Globe. Each Saturday and Sunday at LPGA tournaments, CME Group will donate $1,000 to Wounded Warrior Project® for each eagle that is recorded. This amount will increase to $5,000 for each eagle during the weekend of the CME Group Tour Championship and a formal check will be presented to the Wounded Warrior Project® during the trophy ceremony at the CME Group Tour Championship. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org