On Sunday in Mobile, Alabama, Alexis (Lexi) Thompson faced her first opportunity in her ripe age of 16 to close a professional event, the Avnet LPGA Classic, and to become the youngest winner in history. Who wouldn’t have loved to see Lexi make history? It sure would have been a boost for women’s golf and could only help the LPGA’s sponsor woes. But Lexi’s youth and inexperience hampered her efforts in the final round. Perhaps it just wasn’t her day. And maybe she should make a caddie change.
Lexi Thompson celebrated her sixteenth birthday recently and her sponsor, Red Bull, decided to use some of their motorsport clout to organise a ‘driving lesson’ with NASCAR driver Brian Vickers. Burnouts definitely weren’t on the curriculum when I was sitting my test.
[Thanks to Waggle Room and Courtgolf for the tip]
Another Sunday, another PGA Tour Confidential. We even had a cameo last night from Brad Faxon — basically, because he disagreed with something I said.
In this week’s edition, the SI Golf Group discusses Mark Wilson’s win at Waialae (is it refreshing to see shorter tracks like Waialae and contenders who actually hit fairways?), leaderboard watching, the best in the world competing at Abu Dhabi this week (and overshadowing the Bob Hope Classic), golf’s lack of an off-season and the LPGA denying Alexis Thompson’s petition.
Guess what? We didn’t bring up Tiger’s name once the entire night! /high-five! Here’s an excerpt from last night’s banter:
15-year-old phenom Alexis Thompson has filed a petition with the LPGA, seeking to double the maximum number of sponsor’s exemption to 12 for the 2011 season, according to a GolfChannel.com report. Lexi’s father Scott Thompson, who is caddying for son Nicholas Thompson at this week’s PGA Tour Q-school, spoke to me and two other reporters this afternoon at Orange County National.
Excuse me while I roll my eyes as I write this, but I’m not really clear why Alexis “Lexi” Thompson being denied a special exemption to play in Monday’s final qualifier for the Women’s Open has become such a hot topic. In fact, I largely ignored it until I got so bombarded with headlines and little tidbits via my Twitter feed that I finally decided to look into what the fuss was about. Then it got me a tad riled up because my initial instinct had been correct. So, why are Lexi’s handlers making such a big deal out of it?
Well, look what we have here: Two Americans atop the leaderboard at Oakmont, and they’re fantastic personalities, no less! Paula Creamer, who has been battling a thumb injury, leads Christina Kim by two shots. Creamer has won eight times on the LPGA tour, but she’s looking to capture her first major victory today.
Michelle Wie followed her 82 with a 76 in the second round of the US Women’s Open. Better, but not nearly enough to make the cut. She missed by six shots. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Alexis (Lexi) Thompson, who turned pro last month, played her way into contention with a fantastic one-under 70. She’s four-over and T4. Paula Creamer, Suzann Pettersen and Amy Yang are first, second and third, respectively, but they have yet to finish their third round due to delays and darkness.