Lexi Thompson played her way past the Inbee Park vs Suzann Pettersen Rolex Player of the Year hype and onto the champion’s podium at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex this afternoon! The American teenager is bringing her 2nd year on the LPGA Tour to a close with quite a splendid show of competence and the ability to deliver her A game under fire. Rolex Ranked No. 14, Thompson has earned 6 top-10 finishes this year and put 2 tournaments in her victory column. With the purse from the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Thompson will also pass the million dollar mark for 2013 earnings. Great work, Lexi!
The popular Thompson earned her win with rounds of 72, 64, 67, and 69. A slow start couldn’t hold her back. She played her way steadily up the leaderboard and went into the Sunday round 13 shots under par and 1 stroke ahead of her closest competitor, South Korean IK Kim. She ended the round much as she had started it, 1 stroke ahead of her closest competitor, Rolex Ranked No. 3 Stacy Lewis.
Lewis, like Thompson, started the Lorena Ochoa Invitational a bit slow. She, too, shot even par in the 1st round, then started her climb. Lewis managed to pass Kim on Sunday but just couldn’t catch Thompson. Although she shot 68 today, 1 stroke better than Thompson, it wasn’t enough. Lewis, at -15, had a solo 2nd place finish.
IK Kim, who started the Sunday round right behind Thompson, struggled on Sunday. The Rolex Ranked No. 9 and 2010 winner of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, just couldn’t get her game going today. She carded 75 and dropped down to a tied 7th place finish, alongside South Korean Amy Yang, Spaniard Azahara Munoz, and Americans Michelle Wie and Lizette Salas.
Rolex Ranked No. 5 So Yeon Ruy stayed near the top of the board throughout the tourney. The South Korean briefly had a share of the lead going into the 3rd round, then Lexi Thompson got hot and passed her. Ryu finished with -13, in a solid 3rd place right behind Stacy Lewis.
Defending champion Christie Kerr, after shooting a disastrous 77 in the 1st round, wasn’t able to recover enough to move far up the board. Kerr finished at -5 and well down the leaderboard, with a share of 21st place.
Big Break Mexico winner Taylor Collins has now finished her first LPGA Tour event. She finished last, at +15, and she probably has a notebook full of lessons learned and course management strategies that will serve her well as she works her way from the Symetra Tour to the LPGA Tour over coming seasons.
There’s one last round of margaritas and the Tour returns to the United States for the final event of the 2014 season, the CME Group Titleholders, November 21-14, at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
This 6th playing of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational at the Guadalajara County Club may also be the final time the event will be played in this idyllic venue. The LPGA Tour has announced that while the Lorena Ochoa will be retained on its 2014 tour schedule, issues surrounding television coverage must be resolved in conjunction with venue selection. We’ll follow these negotiations and provide more information as it becomes available.