Chun Holds On, Stops Thompson From Winning Women’s PGA

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — In Gee, Chun rallied after losing the rest of her once-big lead and overcoming a bogey-filled front nine to win the PGA women’s championship on Sunday when Lexi Thompson faltered with her putter.

Chun shot a 3-over 75 for the second straight day at Congressional, but that was enough to win her third major title by beating Thompson and Minjee Lee. Chun, who had a six-shot lead halfway through the tournament, lost a three-shot lead in the first three holes of the final round. Thompson was two strokes ahead of her after the front nine, but Thompson’s putting problems had only just begun.

The 27-year-old Floridian screwed up a few foot par putt at number 14, but a birdie at 15 restored her lead to two. She then bogeyed on the par-5 16th, while Chun birdied the two players with two more holes to tie.

Thompson three-putt for bogey on 17, and after an impressive approach to the rough on 18, her birdie putt didn’t hit hard enough.

Chun’s approach on the 18th par-4 bounced down the hole and just behind the green, but she putt within about 5 feet and sank her par attempt for the win.

Chun, a 27-year-old from South Korea, led by seven after finishing her 8-under 64 in wet conditions on Thursday. By the end of that day, the lead had shrunk to five—still equaling the greatest 18-hole advantage in women’s majors history.

She was six strokes ahead at the halfway point and had a three-shot lead on Sunday. She finished 5-under 283.

Chun won her first major at the US Women’s Open in 2015 and added the Evian Championship in France the following year.

Thompson hasn’t won an LPGA Tour event since 2019, and her only major win came as a teenager at Mission Hills in the California desert in 2014. She’s certainly had opportunities. She lost a five-stroke lead in the final round of last year’s US Women’s Open at Olympic Club.

This year she was 10 strokes back after the first round before steadily chasing Chun. Thompson made birdies on Nos. 1 and 3 on Sunday. Chun bogeyed Nos. 2 and 4 to drop out of the lead.

Thompson missed short birdie putts on eighth and ninth — a harbinger of her troubles later in the round — but Chun’s 40 on the front nine left her two behind at the corner. Sei Young Kim, who at one point had undercut the 6, made a bogey of 8, 10, 11 and 12 and then played no part.

When Chun made her first birdie of the day at the par-5 11th, Thompson answered with a birdie of his own to stay two strokes ahead at 7 under. When Thompson made 12 bogey, Chun did too.

The 16th hole, where Chun had to take an unplayable lie and make a double bogey on Saturday, was the turning point in her favor on the final round. Thompson was just short and right of the green in two shots, but took four from there to bogey, while Chun rolled into her birdie putt after a long wait.

Lee, who was trailing six at the start of the day, just missed an eagle putt on 16 that could have tied her for the lead. When Thompson birdied 15 and Lee made a bogey, the Australian was three down.

A great approach to the last hole gave Lee a short birdie putt, but after making that for a final lap of 70, she still needed Thompson to drop two more strokes.

It did, but Lee’s birdie and two pars on the last three holes were enough to win.

Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister

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