One player the old adage, “Different horses for different courses,” didn’t account for is 11-time LPGA Tour champion Lexi Thompson.
The 26-year-old Floridian has won the ANA Inspiration on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club, which plays close to 7,000 yards. She has also tackled the Bay Course at Seaview, A Dolce Hotel to claim the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer, this week’s LPGA event and one of the shortest tracks on Tour. Even so, Thompson’s strategy is particular when it comes to the various tournament host sites.
“Drivers versus 2-irons,” Thompson said laughingly. “Definitely a different mindset. This golf course and like last week's [at Pinnacle Country Club for the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship] too, it's a lot more placement golf. You think more into the tee shots, just getting it into the fairway, giving yourself a mid-iron to a wedge at the pins.
“I don't hit too many drivers here, either. I hit a lot of 2-irons, a lot of 3-woods. Sometimes that actually works out because it does get pretty windy out here. I love hitting my driver obviously and playing long, challenging golf courses, but this is challenging too, especially if it gets windy. You can play aggressively. If the wind gets going, you have to be careful on some holes.”
The details will be part of the gameplan for Thompson as she looks to find the winner’s circle for the first time since her 2019 victory in Galloway, N.J. She’ll also carry special memories with her, of the win and making her professional debut here in 2010 as a 15-year-old.
“Definitely some good memories. I hit my putt on 18 a few times yesterday [in my practice round] and I was like, ‘This brings back good memories.’ I’m really looking forward to the week,” said Thompson. “I remember my first time as a professional arriving in the NASCAR [stock car], pulling up in the circle here [at Seaview valet] and struggling to get out of the window. It was quite an experience to be able to make my professional debut here. Very special moment for me.”