Lexi Thompson, 16, becomes youngest to win an LPGA event

Lexi Thompson, 16, becomes youngest LPGA Tour winner
PRATTVILLE, Ala. — At 16, Lexi Thompson has become the youngest player to win an LPGA Tour event. The Coral Springs, Fla., resident closed with a 2-under-par 70 Sunday to win the Navistar LPGA Classic, beating Tiffany Joh by five strokes. Thompson finished 72 holes at 17under 271 and earned $195,000. She shattered the age record for winning a multiple-round LPGA event held by Paula Creamer, who won in 2005 at 18. Marlene Hagge was 18 years, 14 days old when she won the singleround Sarasota Open in 1952. "This has been my dream like my whole life," Thompson said. "It's the best feeling ever." Thompson, who turned 16 in February, led by five strokes entering the final round and increased it to seven through 10 holes at the Robert Trent Jones Trail's Capitol Hill complex. Joh cut the lead to three when Thompson had bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12.
Lexi Thompson Page 1

Thompson erased any concerns of a collapse with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17, and the celebration and kind words began. "Paula Creamer came up to me and said, 'If anybody was going to change the record, it should have been you,' " Thompson said. "That meant a lot." Cool under pressure most of the day, Thompson and her father, also her caddie, couldn't contain broad smiles as they approached the 18th green. "It was an unbelievable feeling to hear people cheering your kid like that," Scott Thompson said. "A very proud moment." Thompson said her dad told her he was "going off to the side, because I might cry." Because Thompson is under 18, she will not receive the automatic Tour membership that usually is one of the spoils of victory at LPGA events. Earlier this year, she successfully petitioned the LPGA for the ability to earn membership through the three-stage LPGA qualifying tournament. She won the first stage by 10 strokes. Unless the LPGA decides to grant her an exemption, she will earn full Tour membership only if she is among the leaders at the end of the third stage. Thompson spent time before the tournament at a restaurant with fellow teen golfer Janie Jackson. What did they talk about? "Boys," Thompson replied with a laugh. "Boys definitely came up."

Lexi Thompson

Page 2

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful