Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

Lexi Thompson has her eyes on being No. 1 -- well, sort of

March 16, 2016

Perhaps, it was only fitting Lexi Thompson's trip to the top of the Empire State Building earlier this week came on such a gloomy day. Sure, it would have been nice for the 21-year-old star to get a better view of New York City, but not looking at her surroundings has been a big part of her recent success.

Thompson began putting with her eyes closed in practice at the end of last year and then officially switched to the unorthodox method to start this season. The results? Four top-20 finishes, including a six-shot win in Thailand last month.

"It is very exciting," Thompson said of her putting improving so quickly. "It just clicked for me. . . . I used to lift my head too early. For me, it's better to not see the ball go in the hole. Well, to see it go in eventually."

Thompson says she keeps her eyes shut for almost every putt, only keeping them open on long lag putts and when she's putting up a big ridge.

With her latest victory, already the seventh of her LPGA career, Thompson moved to No. 3 in the Rolex Rankings, moving past Stacy Lewis to become the top-rated American. So is there a Big 3 on the LPGA Tour now with Lydia Ko, Inbee Park and Thompson?

"Well, No. 1 and No. 2 are pretty far ahead," Thompson said with a laugh. "But I think we all want to be No. 1."

If Thompson has really made a breakthrough with her shortest club, she might not be just thinking about being No. 1 for long.