Lexi Thompson played her way into contention over the first two rounds at the Women’s British Open with rounds of 67-68.
She went into Saturday at Kingsbarns just two shots behind overnight leader I.K. Kim.
Opportunity was knocking. Opportunity to make up for the fiasco at the ANA Inspiration. A major was waiting for her.
Only problem is that Thompson’s “A” game failed to show up when she needed it most.
She struggled for most of the day in a light rain, with wind, but it certainly wasn’t overpowering. Good scores were there to be had but she wouldn’t find one of them.
Instead, Thompson shot 74. I.K. Kim shot 66 and just like that, Thompson was 10 shots behind and just about out of hope.
There wasn’t much hope to go around for anyone not named I.K.
Sure, Inbee Park went out early and tied Michelle Wie’s course record with her own 64 but all that did was get her to 10-under and seven shots behind Kim.
American Stacy Lewis gave it her best shot. She made a run of four straight birdies to close her day but all that did was get her to nine-under — eight back of the leader.
Which brings us back to Kim.
Brit Georgia Hall played with her and like Thompson, started just two back. She could have been a lot closer to Kim had it not been for a bogey at the 16th and a four-putt double-bogey at 17. You read that right — four putts.
Kim was simply dazzling.
“I just feel like I’ve done a lot of good things on and off the golf course and I think it’s really helping me out,” Kim said. “It’s showing on the golf course.”
Kim has had her own demons to overcome.
She had a chance to win the 2012 ANA Inspiration but missed a one-foot putt for the title.
“Everybody makes mistakes, but I think it was nobody else’s problem. It was my problem. I really kind of criticized myself a lot, and it’s not very healthy,” Kim explained.
“It’s been quite tough, but I started to work on myself, not only on the golf course, but off the golf course. Just be nice to myself and able to have some kind of compassion and gentleness with myself. I think it’s really helping me to play better I think on the golf course.”
It showed during Kim’s record-setting Saturday performance.
Her 17-under total (199) breaks the previous 54-hole record of 16-under par set by Ariya Jutanugarn in 2016. Kim is also on-track to shatter the previous tournament record of 19-under par set at Sunningdale Golf Club in 2009 by Karen Stupples.