LPGA Tour Winner Defends Lexi Thompson Following Press Conference Controversy

Jessica Korda has leapt to the defence of her fellow American following criticism of her exchange with a reporter on Friday

Lexi Thompson reacts to a putt during the first day of the 2023 Solheim Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

America's Jessica Korda has leapt to the defence of former Solheim Cup teammate, Lexi Thompson, after she came under criticism following an awkward exchange with a reporter on Friday. 

Thompson - playing alongside Lilia Vu - fell to a dramatic final-hole defeat against Leona Maguire and Georgia Hall after the American shanked her third shot on the 18th hole.

When asked about the shot in the press conference following the round, the 28-year-old initially refused to comment, with US captain Stacy Lewis labelling it a "terrible question." The response from Thompson drew criticism on social media, but the Solheim Cup star has been defended by her former teammate Korda. 

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Writing on X/Twitter, she said: "So sad seeing golf media, yet again, shred Lexi. It’s easy writing about other people’s mistakes. It’s Golf, bad shots happen - give the girl a break. She grows the game more than anyone on tour… And she’s a great player!!

"And before someone can come after me for this - comment if you’ve played under this kind of pressure. A shot like that makes your heart sink into your stomach. Put yourself in those shoes. Live, in front of thousands. Let me know how you’d feel."

Responding to another journalist, Korda added: "The media always waiting to rip on her. Unnecessary question for anyone. Better question is why are you coming on here to rip her some more? It’s easy being the one writing about it or judging from the outside. How about all the clutch putts and shots she hit in the matches?"

Korda, whose sister Nelly is competing for Team USA in the tournament, was not selected for this year's event after an injury-affected year. She last played in May at the Founders Cup and has since announced that she is pregnant with her first child.

Thompson entered the week - her sixth Solheim Cup - at Finca Cortesin in poor form after a disappointing year on the LPGA Tour. The Major champion had only made one cut since June, prior to the tournament, but demonstrated all her prowess and experience with a 2&1 win alongside Megan Khang against Swedish rookie duo, Linn Grant and Maja Stark, on Friday morning.

Despite defeat in Friday's afternoon session, Thompson bounced back on Saturday morning, winning 1UP with Khang against Anna Nordqvist and Maguire.

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.