Oct 18th, 2015
Lexi Thompson Wins in Korea
Swingin' Siren smashes her way to victory
Words: Daniel Owen Photography: Getty Images
Swingin’ Siren Lexi Thompson got the job done, winning the LPGA’s Hana Bank Championship in South Korea. Still only 20, it’s Lexi’s sixth win on tour, and second this season, she’s really pushed on since her GolfPunk photoshoot.
Her final round 69 at the Sky 72 Ocean Course in Incheon, was enough to win by one from Yani Tseng and Sung Hyun Park. Birdies at seven, eight, and nine had put in pole position. A birdie on the 15th gave her a two shot lead, and she actually drove though the back of the green.
''When I went for that green and I saw my ball bounce over, I'm like, 'Probably not going to be the best chip shot, or the easiest,'' Thompson said. "But I love hitting flop shots out of the rough. I just opened the blade wide open and just took a big swing at it. I figured, at worst, it would run through the fringe but have a straight uphill putt.''
Playing 18 she needed a par to win, but her second ended up in some heavy deep rough after missing the green from 190 yards. Cool as a cucumber, she flopped it out to 12 ft and got down in two putts to take the second title of the 2016 season, worth $300,000.
''I'm overall a very aggressive player,'' Thompson said. ''So, if I have 190 front, I'm not laying up. But it's good to play aggressive and know that I can get up-and-down.''
Despite Lexi’s fireworks, it was Amy Yang who had everyone going ballistic. The 26 year old South Korean golfer was on fire, burning up the back 9, as she birdied every hole. The first player to do this on the LPGA, it matched the record for a front or back 9 on tour, and helped her tie the course record.
''I don't know what just happened. Just can't believe,'' Yang said. ''Shots were great. Early in the week I was shaky, but I don't know, this back nine was crazy good.''
Overnight leader Lydia Ko could have regained the world number one spot from Inbee Park had she won. However her level par 72 wasn’t enough to get the job done, in the end a tie for second would have given her the number one ranking, but she missed out by one and took a share of fourth.