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Lexi Thompson has found that the subtleties of golf have made golf even better

SOUTHERN PINES, North Carolina – Lexi Thompson can’t open Band-Aid. At an 18-minute tea box in the middle of a humid day, 95 degrees for the first time at the US Women’s Open, the sixth player in the world is facing a major challenge: the back of his shoe digs. heel and white gloves on his left hand do not allow him to get the rest he needs.

Thompson laughs to himself. Her boyfriend, Will Davidson, laughs and helps her get rid of it. This was not the first or last time the two had shared an exciting moment in the middle of its 68th opening session at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club. By the time Thompson puts the birdie putt in the last hole, the eighth, her smile speaks volumes. The last time she finished the competition, she lost 5th place behind nine and won the first US Women Open.

“Until last year, it’s over,” Thompson said after circling. “I took it, I learned it …. I know my game is in the right place.”

For the past year, Thompson has found what works for him. Separating time from his preferences outside of such solidity, relaxing with his family and having a better golf course gradually, for him, would mean less focus on golf. Although, well, playing golf.

“I loved stability, I thought deeply,” Thompson, who in 2007 joined the US Open at the age of 12, told ESPN. “But then I realized that you get very angry when you are there 24/7, all around you. So you need to calm down. You need a few minutes to let your mind go and relax.”

Throughout his tenure on Thursday, which has locked him in the fourth seat and shot three times behind the leader, actress Ingrid Lindblad, Thompson looked stable, yes, very relaxed. He spoke to Davidson before, during, and after the shooting. He said thank you to all the fans who wished him well and paused to greet the young lover he had met before.

“Nice to see you again!” Thompson spoke to the girl before heading to the 18th fairway.

On a day that was extremely hot and much lower than his own, Thompson remained cool. In fact – he was the only player in his team who did not use an umbrella to protect himself from the sun – and figuratively speaking: after drawing a bogey and only three times a day in the third hole, he returned. with three pairs and a birdie.

“I’m from Florida,” Thompson said with a smile after turning around when asked about the temperature. “It is better to sweat than to be cold.”

Thompson has made changes to his game since he was sacked last year. He worked with Martin Hall on “preventing” his concussions, which only intensified after he rolled the ball. Davidson has also been a new addition, too. Previously, he had worked with Smylie Kaufman, Andrew “Beef” Johnston and Thompson’s brother, Curtis, on the Korn Ferry Tour. This is how he ended up working with Lexi. The relationship has grown.

“I needed someone to support me,” Thompson said, adding that he and Davidson had only worked together on nine occasions. “We just have a lot of fun at golf. I’m a big fan of golf. I love golf, I always think about it. He’s very happy, so it’s good to have boundaries when he takes my mind off me.” among the shots. “

“Everything was going well,” Davidson said after turning around. “We had a great rhythm around it. We had a good conversation.”

One of these discussions came at 5 p.m. Thompson threw three sticks at the tee and chased the players who used the driver. He had 208 in front of the green and 230 on the pin. Thompson’s 2-iron runs at about 210, according to Davidson, but Thompson did not want to shoot forward and remove the green. Davidson loved 2-iron, so he chose the target he could find and Davidson told him to believe it. The gun went slightly to the left, but came right in front of the green and left him with a 20-meter eagle – which he had made.

“To be honest, I didn’t look at your board or place where I was,” Thompson said. “I’ve just tried to think about my game and my mind. That’s all I can control.”

Although he will continue to ask questions about last year’s final round, what Thompson seems to have taken is that he needed to change and get better. Instead, his newfound confidence seems to have helped him to change. If all goes well this week, it could be just what makes him a winner. However, Thompson has certainly found something to learn.

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