LPGA Tour

Lexi Thompson leans on the 'Cure' in strong opening day at ANA Inspiration

Lexi Thompson opened the ANA Inspiration with a 3-under 69 to finish the first day just two off the lead.
Lexi Thompson opened the ANA Inspiration with a 3-under 69 to finish the first day just two off the lead. ( Getty Images )

Thursday, March 31, 2016

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — The cure-all for Lexi Thompson’s scoring might rest in a new putter, aptly called the “Cure.” Jeff Ryan, co-inventor of the Cure Putter, has tried for quite some time to get the putter in Thompson’s hands. After a rough week on the greens at the Kia Classic, Thompson decided to give it a try.

Thompson stands far from the ball when she putts and likes to keep her hands low. As a result, the putter’s toe was up. The adjustable shaft on the Cure Putter enables Thompson to keep her hands where she’s comfortable and have the toe of the putter stay closer to the ground.

Thompson spent time with the putter on Monday afternoon in Mission Hills and saw immediate results.

“She was just making everything,” said her caddie, Benji Thompson (no relation). “Her speed is really good with it, too. That’s what’s huge.”

Thompson’s total putts at the Kia Classic last week were forgettable: 36-34-34-36. She had eight three-putts for the week and hit 50 greens in the last three rounds. The World No. 3 lost so much confidence she actually began putting with her eyes open again for the first time this season. (Thompson won in Thailand putting with her eyes closed.)

“I just started worrying a lot with my eyes closed,” said Thompson, “and I just went away from it after last week. Changed putters, eyes open ... why not change it all if you're going to change it, right?"

Thompson, playing in windy afternoon conditions, needed only 27 putts in Round 1 of the ANA Inspiration and shot 3-under 69. The 2014 ANA champion sits two shots behind co-leaders Ai Miyazato and Azahara Munoz.

“There's not as much pressure on my long game with my putting being well,” Thompson said.

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