Monday, November 29

Lexi Thompson finds her form at the Women’s Open with a borrowed caddy | Golf


It does not appear to have been much of a difficulty for Paul Drummond to take a week off from his family’s car dealership in Carnoustie. Drummond, a 31-year-old handicapper plus two who plays as caddies on championship links in his spare time, finds himself in Lexi Thompson’s bag at the Women’s Open. The spontaneous alliance is working wonders so far; Thompson added a 70 to 69 Thursday to make the fight on the Angus shore easier. Drummond, in branded gear, looks like the tour caddy.

Thompson’s regular looper, Jack Fulghum, was unwell amid the intense heat at the Olympics. It seems that the association may have formally ended in any case. Thompson got in touch with Carnoustie’s caddy master last weekend, and Drummond was duly recommended for the higher-profile role of his “other” job. Even the language barrier has not presented problems. “He talks very slowly to me,” Floridian Thompson said of his Scottish assistant. “I have full confidence in him in his numbers and whether he should hit the left or the right of the scoreboard, and he was right.”

It would be intriguing, indeed, if Thompson wanted this temporary arrangement to become permanent. The prospect has not been completely ruled out.

“I was prepared to get a bag for the week if necessary, but I certainly never expected it to be Lexi Thompson,” Drummond said. “There is no real plan. I have a business here in Carnoustie right now and do some caddying on the side, so we’ll see how it goes.

“On the greens is where I have probably helped the most. If you’ve played here that often, you know the greens like the back of your hand. I simply pass on that knowledge. So I’m reading the greens and giving yards, more or less. “

Thompson’s larger story relates to a painful collapse at this year’s US Women’s Open. Thompson led the event after 54 holes, but stumbled to a close of 75. Now at 26, Thompson has yet to add to his first major ANA Inspiration win in 2014. Glory at Carnoustie, which over the weekend will likely provide A tougher test than has been the case thus far would be a quick redemption story for the exuberant Thompson.

“I don’t feel like I have any point to make,” Thompson said. “I feel like I’ve already done it in my career. Honestly, I don’t think I have to prove anything here. Things like the US Open happen, but I played great golf all week.

“Golf is such a crazy game full of ups and downs. You just have to take the bad and go with a positive attitude to the next one and not let it get worse. “

Thompson’s older brother Curtis earned PGA Tour status just a few days ago via the Korn Ferry Tour. “He has worked very hard and has also been through slumps,” he said. “Only the last few years between training and practice and working with his coach, it has been worth it. I think he will do very well and is in a good mental space. He is the most talented of us all and we are very proud of him. “

Thompson is two short of Georgia Hall at the midpoint. Hall is looking for a second win in the women’s open, three years after lifting the trophy at Royal Lytham & St Annes. “There’s a lot of golf to play, but I’m happy with where I am,” Hall said after her 69. “I have a little more experience now. [versus 2018] And there are some shots here and there that could have hit back then and I don’t now. Other than that, I am quite similar. I handle pressure better. I just feel in my head, I’m more stable. ”Mina Harigae’s 67 meant she matched Hall’s total.

Brooke Henderson stalks menacingly at four-under with Leona Maguire, Yuka Saso and Yealimi Noh among whom will join Thompson with a better punch. Lizette Salas has Kim Sei-young for company at minus six.

Sophia Popov, the defending champion, produced a painful double bogey at 18 for a total of three more that triggered an early exit from Scotland. Popov will always have Royal Troon. Laura Davies, who will turn 58 in October, had an excellent performance to navigate the last 36 holes at an even par. Louise Duncan, the 21-year-old Scottish fan, did the same at three under par.


www.theguardian.com

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