Less than three months after capturing her first victory in the U.S. at the Navistar LPGA Classic– to become the youngest winner in LPGA history, no less — 16-year-old Lexi Thompson methodically played her way into the winner’s circle on the other side of the world. The young American star shot 67 in the final round of the Dubai Ladies Masters to snag her second professional win by four shots.
South Africa’s Lee Ann Pace put up a fight and even pulled a shot shot ahead on the 7th. Lexi took the lead back when she chipped in for birdie on the 9th and then rolled in another on the 10th to make it two in a row. Pace hit the wrong club on her approach on the 12th to lose momentum and Lexi grabbed the opportunity, rolling in birdies on the 13th and 14th on her way to notch another bit of history as the second youngest champ on the Ladies European Tour (Amy Yang was four months younger when she won as an amateur in 2006).
“It feels amazing. I feel really honored that they invited me back,” Thompson, who tied for 22nd last year, told the AP. “I’ve been working on my game really hard and it’s paid off. I’m going to continue working hard and just trying to improve every tournament.”
Meanwhile, Michelle Wie, the former teen phenom who joined the LPGA at 16, started the day five shots out of a lead. She posted two bogeys and a double-bogey on the front nine to end up finishing 12th. What did she struggle with? Her putting, of course. Oh, if she could only get things rolling…because she swings the club so beautifully.
Michelle had complimentary words for Lexi.
“I think she kind of has that mentality, just grip it and rip it,” said Wie. “She just goes out there and just kind of has fun, which is really nice to see. She’s a really talented player and I’m really impressed.”
Fun is the operative word.