Marathon Classic: Lewis, Pressel don’t get the kind of tourney they were looking for

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By SCOTT COTTOS
STAFF WRITER
SYLVANIA — Both Stacy Lewis and Morgan Pressel not only are popular as long-successful players on the LPGA Tour, but both draw family and friends to Highland Meadows Golf Club when they play in the Marathon Classic.
Lewis is a Toledo native who still has family and friends in the city, and Pressel has family in Michigan.
But while they were happy to see a variety of people, they were far from thrilled about their performances in the local tournament while trying to gain momentum for this week’s trip overseas for the Scottish and British Women’s opens.
Lewis shot a two-under-par 69 on Sunday, had a 280 total and finished tied for 45th . Pressel recorded a final-round 70 and tied for 57th place at 283.
Lewis said after the second round that she was hoping to get her game in order in the Marathon Classic’s final two days. But it didn’t happen.
“No,” she said. “I didn’t really do it all weekend. I never really had it.”
Lewis, a two-time tour Player of the Year, stands 11th in the women’s golf rankings, though much is made about the fact that she’s not won an event in 79 starts dating back to 2014.
She said that talk doesn’t bother her because winning’s nowhere on the radar right now.
“I’m just worrying about trying to play better,” Lewis said. “When you don’t play good, you’re not going to win. So, thinking about winning is out the window. I’m just trying to play better golf.”
Pressel, who has missed nine cuts in 18 events this season, was unsure about having made any progress.
“I don’t know about that,” she said. “I’m just trying to figure it out. Maybe I hit a few better shots today. I’ll just keep grinding.”
WELLNESS: Knowing that her mother is feeling better has done likewise for world No. 3 ranked Lexi Thompson, who shot a 66 on Sunday and finished second at 267, 17-under par and four shots behind champion In-Kyung Kim.
Judy Thompson, who 11 years ago overcame a bout with breast cancer, underwent surgery and received radiation treatments for uterine cancer in June.
Judy Thompson was able to travel to Bedminster, Maryland, to watch her daughter play in last week’s U.S. Women’s Open, before returning home to Coral Springs, Florida.
“Just knowing that she’s doing better and she’s healthy now, it’s definitely put me at a peace of mind,” Lexi Thompson said after finishing on Sunday. “It’s been a hard few months, really, for all of us, but just to see how strong she is has made me a lot stronger and it’s made me able to come out here and play my best.”
Pressel, a fellow South Floridian who was 15 when her mother died of breast cancer, lent a hand to the Thompsons after Judy’s diagnosis.
“Morgan and her foundation got her in (to an oncologist) the next day after she heard the news,” Lexi said, noting that her mother’s own doctor wouldn’t have seen her for about two weeks. “It was a huge help. I’ve been close to Morgan for quite some time, doing her Morgan and Friends event, and she helped me out so much and helped my mom out, which is a big deal. I’m so grateful for her.”
Said Pressel: “Judy called me and asked for help, and all I did was kind of make a phone call and kind of point them in the right direction. Lexi and her family have been such great friends of mine for a long time and it was the least I could do to help Judy on the path to beating cancer.”
GOING LOW: Jaye Marie Green, a fourth-year tour member from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, recorded the day’s low score with a 64 that included seven birdies and 11 pars.
“It was good,” said the 23-year-old Green, who ended up in a tie for 20th at 9-under 275 after starting the day at minus-two. “I love being paired with Stacy and her (caddie). It was like, good vibes out there and we were just kind of feeding off each other and making putts.
“I just hit a lot of iron shots close. I didn’t really have to make more than, like, a six-footer, so that was nice.”
She acknowledged that after such a strong round it would be easy to think “what if” about her other three rounds of 68, 71 and 72, but “I know it’s golf.”
She added: “Sometimes I could think that way. But golf is just so up and down. I was just, like, ‘OK, I decided to show up today.'”
TOP AMATEUR: Linnea Strom, a rising junior who helped Arizona State win the NCAA team championship in the spring, was the only one of three amateurs in the field to make the cut. On Sunday, she shot a 71 and finished in a tie for 57th with Pressel at 283.
“I mean, it was a lot of fun to play this weekend and be able to play four days, but I’m not too happy about my game,” said Strom, who hails from Gothenburg, Sweden. “I hit some really good shots, but I didn’t get close enough to the pin to get more birdies. I’m a little disappointed.
“But I had so much fun playing here this week and I’ve learned so much and just told myself that this is where I want to be in the future.”
Strom said she will play in the LPGA qualifying school this fall in an attempt to earn her tour card for next year, but as of now she plans to return to Arizona State.
“We’ll see what happens,” she said.

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