Thompson shoots bogey-free 66, leads Open by 1

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SAN FRANCISCO — Lexi Thompson wanted to get her thoughts proper earlier than she may her golf sport again and now could be in place to win her second profession main.

Thompson shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Saturday to take the lead into the ultimate spherical of the U.S. Girls’s Open for the primary time in her profession with a one-shot edge over teenager Yuka Saso.

“I have never performed to my requirements and what I want, and I simply realized that I wanted to alter my mindset,” Thomson mentioned. “It was solely hurting me. Clearly, I wanted to work on some technical issues in my sport and the whole lot, however the psychological aspect was actually attending to me. I used to be simply taking it method too significantly and pondering that Lexi relied on my rating.”

Thompson added, “I like enjoying in entrance of individuals and simply seeing these little children and listening to the chants, it simply, it brings me happiness and a motive to play golf once more.”

As Thompson chases her first U.S. Girls’s Open title and second main, she mentioned that she has been working exhausting on her psychological sport with efficiency coach John Denney. In each 2016 and 2017, Thompson labored with Denney on her psychological sport and mentioned that she’s presently utilizing a follow of spirituality and gratitude when on the course.

“Simply being grateful for the whole lot in my life and being grateful that I’ve the chance to have the ability to play a golf course like this or any golf course. … Whether or not I play good or unhealthy it is nonetheless an incredible expertise.”

Thompson mentioned she has been taking strides towards not dwelling on errors, though she made few Saturday when she was the primary participant all week to make par or higher on each gap within the spherical.

That had her within the lead at 7 underneath heading into the ultimate spherical of a significant for the primary time since 2017, when her edge after 54 holes on the ANA Inspiration was erased on Sunday when she was penalized 4 strokes after a viewer noticed that she had misplaced her marked ball through the third spherical.

Thompson nonetheless managed to make it right into a playoff towards So Yeon Ryu, however she misplaced and was unable so as to add to the 2014 ANA Inspiration title she gained for her first main.

Thompson performed an almost flawless spherical Saturday in her fifteenth attempt at her first U.S. Girls’s Open title after first competing as a 12-year-old novice in 2007. She has 4 high 10 finishes on the U.S. Girls’s Open, together with a runner-up two years in the past in Charleston.

Thompson has been lurking across the leaderboard all week, capturing 69 on Thursday and 71 within the second spherical earlier than capturing the low spherical of her profession at this event on Saturday.

She began to make a run with three birdies, together with one on No. 9 after hitting her tee shot into the second minimize of tough. She nonetheless managed to get on the inexperienced and made a 20-foot putt to get to five underneath.

Thompson added one other lengthy birdie putt on No. 14 and reached the inexperienced on the par-5 seventeenth in two pictures earlier than two-putting for birdie and the lead. She saved par with a 3-foot putt at 18 after hitting her tee shot into the tough and her strategy behind the inexperienced.

“I struck it nicely all day, made just a few good putts on the market,” she mentioned. “It is all about endurance out on this golf course as a result of there’s going to be unhealthy pictures made and you are going to miss some fairways, so that you simply should get bogey at worst and get off the outlet and go on to the subsequent.”

Saso made back-to-back bogeys on the again 9 to fall out of the lead earlier than recovering with a birdie on the par-5 seventeenth to get again to 7 underneath. She missed a 12-foot par putt on 18 and ended the day a stroke again.

New Jersey highschool novice Megha Ganne shot a 72 and was tied for third at 3 underneath with 2019 champion Jeongeun Lee6 of South Korea.

China’s Shanshan Feng was fifth at 2 underneath, with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and American Megan Khang the one different gamers underneath par at 1 underneath.

Saso, who has by no means completed higher than sixth in an LPGA Tour occasion, will play within the remaining group on Sunday with an opportunity to affix South Korea’s Inbee Park as the one teenagers to win this event. Park did it at 19 years, 11 months, 17 days in 2008, which will probably be Saso’s actual age Sunday.

The 17-year-old Ganne was a crowd favourite on the course and saved her composure early with a few early par saves and birdies on the fifth and ninth holes to get inside a shot of the lead at 5 underneath. Again-to-back bogeys to start out the again 9 knocked her down the leaderboard earlier than she steadied herself with seven straight pars to finish the day.

“It was actually mentally a grind on the market and I’ve by no means needed to simply carry out from such unhealthy lies and conditions gap after gap and nonetheless imagine that I used to be going to do it once more on the subsequent gap,” she mentioned. “So it was loads, however I am assured in how I am enjoying.”

Lee6 obtained to six underneath with a birdie at No. 4 however fell off when she hit her tee shot into the deep tough at No. 5 and ended up with a double bogey.

ESPN’s Charlotte Gibson contributed to this report.

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