Regardless of what happened on the course at the Shriners Children’s Open, Lexi Thompson made history just by teeing it up on Thursday morning. She was only the seventh woman to ever play in a PGA Tour event, adding her name to a list that includes prominent players such as Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie.

With just five holes remaining on Friday, however, Thompson seemed on the verge of adding her name to a much shorter list of women who made the cut. The ledger included just one golfer—the legendary multi-sport athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who made two cuts in 1945. But with play continuing on Friday afternoon at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Thompson was going to fall short after making bogeys on two par 3s—her 14th and 17th holes.

Thompson, 28, finished with a two-under-par 69, good for an even-par total after an opening 73, and when she tapped in for par on 18, the projected cut line remained where it had been most of the morning, at one under. Less than an hour later, it moved to two under, meaning Thompson was all but eliminated.

“I knew the cut line would keep on going lower and lower with these guys, especially with not that much wind out there,” Thompson said after her round. “I would say the biggest challenge was … probably just some of the pin locations. They tuck them very close to the edges to where you have to hit high shots and carry it and be able to stop it within two bunkers or a narrow part of the green. … I don’t get it as far down as the guys, so I have a little bit longer of a shot.”

Thompson’s parents greeted her on the 18th green, and a few minutes later, she took pride in the bigger picture.

“It’s an amazing feeling … just to be able to come here and follow my dreams,” she said. “It’s something I wanted to do, playing against my brothers growing up, all the guys are so welcoming, so I’m very grateful for that. But the biggest thing was being out there and seeing the kids and meeting some of the Shriners kids as well. That’s what it’s all about.”

If she fell achingly short of her on-course goals, it wasn’t for lack of trying. Thompson began her second round on the back nine, made bogey on 10, but quickly rebounded with a terrific approach on 11 from 152 yards that set up an easy birdie.

On the par-5 13th, she followed up a 314-yard drive with a second shot that came to rest in the fringe, leading to a two-putt birdie. Two holes later, on the 296-yard par-4 15th, she unleashed the power that saw her gain nearly a stroke over the rest of the field off the tee in the opening wave on Friday and drove onto the green.

Another two-putt birdie moved her to two under on the day, and she rounded out her opening nine with a trio of stress-free pars. The peak of Thompson’s round came as the made the turn, when she poured in her longest putt of the day to that point at No. 1, a 23-footer that moved her to one under.

A hole later, the putter stayed hot, and she drained a 28-foot birdie that, when it fell, put Thompson at two under and gave her a legitimate chance to play par golf down the stretch and make the cut.

After two more pars, though, Thompson pushed her tee shot on the long par-3 fifth hole far to the right and was forced to take a penalty. She recovered impressively, hitting her third after a drop to five feet and saving bogey. But on 8, the next par 3, her tee shot ran through the green and she left her chip 11 feet short. (It’s possible she would have putted the ball if not for a sprinkler head in her path.) Thompson missed the par putt to fall back to even for the tournament, and while she gave herself a shot to reach one under at the par-5 ninth, she couldn’t convert her six-foot birdie effort.

“I knew that this golf course can play very firm and that the greens could get super bouncy, so I was expecting that,” Thompson said. “But I had to play— even with wedges—play for about five to seven feet of bounce-out, and that’s not normal coming from a Florida golfer. It was something to get used to.”

“It was fun to watch,” said her playing partner Trevor Werbylo. “We were kind of rooting for her the last few holes to maybe make a birdie or two to make the cut, but it was fun. She was great, her game was great, and the crowd was awesome.”

A chorus of other players praised Thompson’s effort on Friday, including Cameron Champ, who held the lead at 12 under when Thompson finished.

“It’s a lot longer, probably slightly different conditions than what they play on,” Champ said. “And, yeah, I just think for the women’s game, it just inspires those other young girls that are watching her just to help grow the game in women’s golf. Definitely think it’s huge.”

Thompson admitted she became emotional at times with the sheer outpouring of support from the gallery.

“It’s the best feeling, just seeing the amount of kids that were out there screaming, ‘Lexi, Lexi, go Lexi!'” she said. “It makes me tear up sometimes, because that’s what I play for, to inspire these little kids, boys or girls, to just get a club in their hand and follow their dreams, whether it’s golf or anything in life.

“I’m tired,” Thompson added, summing up her physical state. “My body is definitely feeling it, but knowing me I’ll probably go to the gym this afternoon.”

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