It all felt too familiar.
Entering the final round three shots back of 54-hole leader In Gee Chun, Lexi Thompson had erased her playing partner’s lead by the third hole. By the turn, Lexi had built a two-shot cushion, and even approaching the 16th green the lead remained two.
When the final grouping walked off the 16th green, however, the lead was gone.
This final group at @KPMGWomensPGA 👀
— LPGA (@LPGA) June 26, 2022
Just short of the par-5 16th green in two shots, Thompson failed to make clean contact on her short pitch, leading to a bogey that was costly compared to Chun’s up-and-down from the fairway for birdie.
This is meant to be a compliment and not a piss take but how Lexi Thompson can be on the possible verge of winning a major when she has this chip in her locker, as well as a wonky putting stroke from short range, is an incredible feat pic.twitter.com/nmDXVUXZ5H
— Mark Townsend (@MTownsendGolf) June 26, 2022
While the bogey was costly, the ensuing bogey on the par-4 17th is sure to be the lasting memory of Lexi’s collapse. Hitting her approach to 25 feet for birdie, Thompson ran her birdie putt by the hole some three feet, leaving her with one of those that have repeatedly cost her in big moments in the past.
Thompson was unable to pick up a birdie on the 72nd hole, and Chun two-putted for her third major championship victory, one of the strangest wire-to-wire victories in recent memory considering what happened over the course of Congressional Country Club on Sunday.
“First nine holes I got a lot of pressure, so to be honest, I couldn’t enjoy playing golf,” Chun said of her shaky Sunday start. “But I believed that if I stuck to my game plan and then I believed that I had a chance on the back nine. So, I tried to hang in there. I’m so happy I made it. My body still shaking, though.”
While Thompson opted to sign autographs for fans instead of speaking publicly in the aftermath of her latest near-miss, she did offer appreciation for her fan support on social media.
View this post on Instagram
“Not the outcome I wanted but still a special week getting to play (Congressional) in the (Women’s PGA)!” she wrote. “Thanks so much to all the amazing sponsors, volunteers and fans for making this week possible. The hospitality was first class at the club and the course was in perfect shape, so thank you to everybody involved for making it happen. Time for a few weeks at home.”