Twenty-four years in the past, the roles have been reversed. America’s darling trailed by three pictures getting into the ultimate spherical of the U.S. Women’s Open.
This 12 months, she’s up one.
Twenty-four years in the past, nevertheless, that darling was 40 years outdated and within the twilight of her profession, watching the final solar set on her U.S. Open-winning alternatives.
This 12 months, she’s 26 – with out a U.S. Open win to her resume, however with greater than a decade of probabilities, one would suppose, to return.
In 1997, Nancy Lopez, a three-time main champion, however by no means a U.S. Women’s Open winner, entered the ultimate spherical at Pumpkin Ridge in Oregon, trailing England’s Alison Nicholas via 54 holes.
Despite a partisan crowd and a Sunday 69, it wasn’t sufficient for Lopez, who completed runner-up for the fourth time and completed her profession with out that Open trophy.
The crowd at The Olympic Club is bound to facet with Lexi Thompson on Sunday in San Francisco. Lexi, like Nancy, is a longtime Open endure. This is her 15th look – an unimaginable quantity, contemplating her age – and she or he has solely two top-5 finishes. Those, nevertheless, have are available two of the final three years, together with a tie for second in 2019.
She missed the lower final 12 months in Houston, however the occasion was rescheduled for December due to COVID-19, and given all of the uncertainties and calamity of 2020, anybody could be forgiven for a one-off efficiency – or season.
This coming Wednesday will mark two years since Thompson has received on tour. Could mark. Might not mark.
Thompson fired a personal-best 66 on Saturday at Olympic, full with 5 birdies and no bogeys.
On Sunday, she’ll vie for her second main victory and first since 2014, when she was a teen. And, she’ll need to beat a minimum of one teen so as to take action.
Saso, 19, from the Philippines, will attempt to play the function of spoiler. She will not be alone in that quest however there are solely 5 different gamers at present underneath par.
Saso will not need to endure jeers as that is a extra civil scene than a few thousand miles away in Columbus, Ohio, however the cheers will definitely be on Lexi’s facet. Like 1997. So, too, the majority of the strain. Like 1997.
And that is Olympic, in spite of everything, a venue unkind to the extra formidable names.
Lexi is aware of, having endured heartbreak many instances over in her skilled profession, that something is feasible and nothing is for certain.