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Why Lexi Thompson will have to ‘push through the pain’ in last-ditch attempt to qualify for the LPGA’s finale

November 05, 2023

Angel Martinez

Lexi Thompson needs a big week this week in Florida at the penultimate LPGA tournament of 2023 if the 28-year-old veteran doesn’t want it to be the last week of her season. And she’s going to have to do it while not at full health.

The 11-time LPGA winner has been playing solid golf since some inspired play at last month’s Solheim Cup—a T-8 and a fifth in her two most recent LPGA starts and scaring the cut when she moonlighted at the PGA Tour’s Shriners Children’s Open. Yet a tough start to the year has her in a precarious place: 88th on the Race to the CME Globe points list. To qualify for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon G.C. in Naples, Fla., Thompson needs to be inside the top 60 at the upcoming Annika Driven by Gainbridge tournament up the road at Pelican G.C. in Belleair, Fla. And that means she needs at least a solo third-place finish.

Thompson starts the week with 304.9 points, while Bianca Pagdanganan holds the 60th spot with 528.78 points. A win gets 500 points, with a solo second earning 320, a solo third 230 points and a solo fourth 180. Doing the math shows the tough road Thompson faces.

On Friday, however, she revealed via Instagram she recently had an MRI on her hand and tailbone after “falling down some stairs.” The results were positive in the sense that there are no fractures in either area. She didn’t specify which hand she was having the issue with (earlier in the year she talked about a problem with her left wrist), but said the MRI “showed swelling and inflammation around the bones and some tendinitis.”

As for her tailbone, she noted that the MRI showed a “cortical irregularity in most distal aspect of coccyx.”

“Even though it’s not ideal timing, I’m going to do my best to push through the pain the best I can,” Thompson wrote.

Thompson has been posting photos of her workouts of late, suggesting that the pain issues haven’t stopped her from her typical physical routine. How much they inhibit her golf game, however, is unclear.

If Thompson were to miss the CME Championship, it would be the first time she hasn’t played in the LPGA’s season-ender since 2010.