WELL-RESTED THOMPSON READY TO HEAD INTO SUMMER STRETCH
Lexi Thompson may have kept herself busy over the LPGA’s two-week break but was able to take some time for herself before the Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg.
“Two weeks off is always really nice, especially after a little bit of a stretch,” said Thompson. “Little spa days and stuff like that just to reward myself for a good finish there in San Fran. Just be relaxed on my weeks off.”
During the break, Thompson visited the Joint Base Charleston Air Force base in advance of the U.S. Women’s Open, a trip that put golf into perspective before the Pure Silk Championship. “Words don't describe it. They thanked me for being there, but it's like, ‘Uh, no. Thank you guys just for being here with me,’” said Thompson. “For what they've been through and they have a smile on their face and go through their day-to-day life like nothing happened - I mean, at least in our eyes it looks like it. It's pretty remarkable just to meet those people.”
The 2017 Pure Silk Championship winner is excited to be back on the River Course at Kingsmill Resort, a place she set the tournament record with her victory (-20). Aside from her win, Thompson has made the top-10 in Williamsburg three other times, including a runner-up finish to Lizette Salas in 2014. She has yet to miss a cut in her seven starts in Virginia.
“I feel good coming into this week,” said Thompson. “I love this tournament in general. It's a great golf course and just a very well-run tournament. Looking forward to this week. I always do.”
WOODS HOPES HARD WORKS PAYS OFF AT PURE SILK
Cheyenne Woods is back on American soil, playing in her first domestic LPGA event this year after competing in two events in Australia earlier this season. After two events on the Ladies European Tour so far in 2019, she returns to the Kingsmill Resort River Course for the fifth time as a sponsor invite in the Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg.
“For me this year has really been getting my game to where I know it can be. Whenever the opportunity arises, I just want to be ready and play some really great golf,” said Woods.
The 28-year-old, who has conditional LPGA status, has attempted to Monday qualify for four LPGA events this year. On two occasions, she missed securing a spot by one stroke. “I've come so close, but in those situations all you can do is your best,” said Woods. “I go out there and I play the best that I can. You just have to mentally and physically grind it out. It's 18 holes and literally anything can happen.”
Despite the obstacles, Woods is still as motivated as ever. “Coming in, this is my fifth year on the LPGA, but I did struggle in finding - being comfortable out here on tour with obviously like the last name is tough,” said Woods. “But I own it, and so now I just have this sense of confidence and just owning myself and my game and just going out and doing what I do.”
That last name comes with a lot of recognition. Tiger Woods, Cheyenne’s uncle, is a source of inspiration for the golfer. Despite missing his 2019 Masters win due to trying to Monday qualify into the LOTTE Championship, Woods said she was filled with plenty of emotions when she heard the news. Resiliency is one trait she has learned from Tiger, she said. “We've all seen what he's gone through and his ability to bounce back and still be an elite player, so it's been really exciting to see,” said Woods.
For the Pure Silk Championship, Woods says her strategy is to feel as comfortable as possible on the course. “Not going to be looking at a lot of leaderboards. I just want to compete and see where my game stands and all the hard work that I've been putting in,” said Woods. “I know that I can pull it together and hopefully put up a good number.
LEWIS PROUD OF NATIONAL CHAMPION MARIA FASSI
Stacy Lewis, an Arkansas Razorback alumna, made her way to Blessings Golf Club this year for a day and a half to watch her former team host the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships. Though she did not get to witness the final day of stroke play, she was beaming with pride at Razorback Maria Fassi, who came away Monday as the 2019 NCAA Individual Champion.
“It was pretty cool. There was no way anybody was going to beat her on that last day,” said Lewis. “Just cool to see all the fans that came out and watched the finish.”
Lewis, the 2007 NCAA Individual Champion, recognized the effort it took for Fassi to add her name to the list of Arkansas national champions. “I know she's worked basically for four years for that moment," said Lewis. "Pretty cool to see her do it and do it the way she did. She shot 5-under on windy conditions on that golf course. It's an incredible round of golf."
Lewis said she texted Arkansas head coach Shauna Taylor to pass along a note of congratulations to Fassi, knowing she did not want to bug the champ too much before Arkansas headed into match play. The Razorbacks were knocked out of the championship in the first round after a 3&2 loss to Wake Forest, but Lewis was still beaming with pride for her alma mater as she began preparing on the River Course for the week ahead at the Pure Silk Championship.
“I'm feeling good. I'm excited to have this week just to test some things out and see where we are,” said Lewis. “Really this golf course is playing a lot like what we'll see next week with not being overseeded and Bermuda grass and fast greens. So this year it's a great prep leading into the U.S. Open.”
The first reshuffle of the 2019 LPGA Tour season will happen shortly after the conclusion of this week’s Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg.
Category 8 on the LPGA Priority List will comprise of members in the Top 80 of the current year’s Money List with priority based on the order of the list. In addition, Members in categories 14 through 19 who have earned official money will be re-seeded into Category 13 and ranked in order of their position on the current year’s Money List through the Pure Silk Championship.
2019 rookie Jeongeun Lee6 is primed to make a big leap on the LPGA Priority List, she is currently No. 125 on the Priority List in Category 14 but with seven top-16 finishes this season she enters this week at No. 13 on the Money List.
Monday qualifiers Katherine Perry and Simin Feng are currently No. 368 and No. 452 on the LPGA Priority List, respectively, and could make huge jumps by playing the weekend at the Kingsmill Resort this week.
A few other players in the field this week are on the cusp of making it from Category 14 to Category 8, including 2019 rookie Pajaree Anannarukarn who is currently No. 86 on the Money List and Kim Kaufman who is 90th on the Money List.
The second and final reshuffle of the 2019 LPGA season will happen after the DOW Great Lakes Bay Invitational on July 20th.
A link to the current LPGA Priority List: http://bit.ly/19priority