‘Chalk it up to a bad week of golf’: Lexi winless at Solheim Cup for first time

September 16, 2019
Lexi Thompson battled a tweaked back on Sunday and lost her singles match to Georgia Hall.

For the first time since she was a Solheim Cup rookie, Lexi Thompson failed to record more than a point in last week’s 14.5-13.5 loss to Europe. It was also Thompson’s first winless Solheim Cup in her four appearances. She finished 0-2-2, earning a point after halving two four-ball matches.

Thompson was third off in singles on Sunday, but she tweaked her back on the range during warmups and had to battle through it over the first few holes. She even had her caddie tee her ball up for her, and you could sense she was uncomfortable when she picked up her ball from the hole.

Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz said on the telecast that it was the first time in her life she had felt any significant back pain, and her agent, Bobby Kreusler, called it a “full spasm.” The LPGA Tour’s physical therapist was working with her even after her match started.

“They weren’t sure that she could start and they are very unsure that she is going to be able to finish,” Foltz said during the match.

Yet Thompson won the first hole with a par and went 2 up over Georgia Hall with another par on the 6th. Hall won her first hole on the 9th when she made a birdie and won the next two when Thompson made back-to-back bogeys. She never lost her lead and won 2 and 1 to finish the week 4-0. Not long after that Suzann Pettersen put the bow on Europe’s shocking victory.

U.S. captain Juli Inkster addressed Thompson’s week afterward (Thompson was not among those brought into the press room).

“I don’t think her back injury had anything to do with [her singles loss],” Inkster said. “She tweaked it a little bit, but she was fine after a few holes. Golf’s hard. It’s hard. You’re going to go through ups and downs. And I know she felt like she didn’t hit it the way she usually hits it. But you’re going to have weeks like that.”

Thompson was 1-2-0 her rookie year on the Solheim Cup team in 2013, and she was 2-0-2 in 2015 and 2017. In both 2015 and 2017 she was 2-0-1 when paired with Cristie Kerr, but Kerr didn’t make the team this year. Instead Thompson was paired with Brittany Altomare, Jessica Korda and Marina Alex, finishing 0-1-2 in those matches.

“She’ll be back,” Inkster said. “She’s No. 3 in the world. And she’s got so much talent. I would take Lexi Thompson on my team any day. So you just chalk it up to a bad week of golf.”

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