Lexi rallies to win Meijer LPGA Classic

Lexi Thompson came from four strokes down in the final round with a 6-under-par 65 to win the Meijer LPGA Classic by one stroke over Lizette Salas of Azusa and Gerina Piller in the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Mich.

The 20-year-old Thompson carded eight birdies while shooting 6-under-par 65, overcoming a bogey at the 17th hole and getting a lucky break when her tee shot on the final hole hit a tree but stayed in play. She ripped her approach shot from the rough onto the green and two-putted for the winning par.

“It feels amazing,” said Thompson, who won for the fifth time on the LPGA Tour, including the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills in April. “It still hasn’t really hit me yet because everything happened so fast.

“But it was a great day out there and we had perfect weather for it, so couldn’t ask for anything more. … The whole day I was just trying to play my own game. Fire at pins, try to make birdies. Four (back) is not a lot in golf.”

Piller, seeking her first victory on the LPGA Tour, closed with a 64 that included a lone bogey on the 16th hole and a closing birdie.

Salas, the former USC All-American trying to win for the second time on the LPGA Tour, couldn’t hold the four-shot lead she took to the final round, posting a 70 after starting with 64-69-64.

“I knew there would be some birdies out there and I knew I was capable of getting them,” said Salas, who missed a long birdie putt on the final hole in a bid to force a playoff. “I just hit some errant tee shots that caused some bogeys, but I didn’t give up.

“And, obviously, I can’t control what Lexi does, and she played an amazing day of golf.”

Kris Tamulis, a native of Michigan playing before the home fans, finished with a 68 to wind up three shots back in a tie for fourth with So Yeon Ryu of South Korea, who had a 66.

Brittany Lang was four shots back in solo sixth after a 66, followed another stroke back by Brittany Lincicome, who carded a 69.

Rookie Alison Lee of Valencia and UCLA, who had a share of the 36-hole lead, posted a second straight 70 and was one more stroke behind in a tie for eighth with Amy Anderson (66), Xi Yu Lin (66) of China and Hee Young Park (69) of South Korea.

Juli Inkster of Los Altos Hills and San Jose State, the U.S. Solheim Cup captain, closed with a bogey-free 65 and finished solo 15th.

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