Oct 14

Forward in Time

Forward in Time – Here Come the Youngsters

Those who wonder what the LPGA Tour might look like a decade from now would do well to take a close look at Lexi Thompson’s effort over the weekend.

The 18-year old Thompson scored at four-shot victory at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, finishing the 72 holes in 19-under par 265. That’s the lowest 72-hole total of Thompson’s career.

Shanshan Feng, closed with a 67 to finish second alone at 15-under par 269 while Suzann Pettersen was third at 272.
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It was Thompson’s second LPGA win; her first cane in 2011 as a 16-year old. That win led LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan to honor her petition for LPGA membership.

Thompson held a three-shot lead over Ilhee Lee when the final round started on Sunday. That margin was down to one shot as the final group reached the eighth tee but Thompson extended her lead when she started her back nine with three straight birdies and was in control from there.

At a time when LPGA fields are seemingly getting younger by the week Thompson is a player that junior players, some of them not much younger than herself look up to.

”I’m getting a few wins out here,” Thompson says. “I’m just really following my dreams, and that’s what I want to pursue to little kids watching me and just always supporting me.  I’m just following my dreams and doing what I love, and that’s what I want every kid that looks up to me to do.”
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Thompson is the second teenager to win on the LPGA Tour in 2013. The first was 16-year old Lydia Ko, who also recorded her second career win earlier this year and recently filed a petition for LPGA membership herself.

Thompson has nothing but praise for Ko’s efforts. “It’s great to have that family and fan support system behind us,” she says, “and to have Lydia coming up, too, being young, and she’s going to be great out here, so it’ll be interesting to see how we all do.”


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About the author

Rick Woelfel

Rick spent more than 15 years in broadcasting before going into print journalism; covering a wide variety of sports during his career but derives his greatest satisfaction from writing about golf and golf history.
He first covered the LPGA Tour in 1986 while still in broadcasting, and has been covering golf ever since, at both the amateur and professional levels.
Rick was a staff writer for Philadelphia Golfer from 1996-2003 and served as the associate editor of Philadelphia Golf Magazine and New Jersey State Golf from 2004-2007.
Since 2007 he has edited and published Women’s Golf Report, an e-zine devoted to women’s golf, while also writing for other golf outlets. He is also a correspondent for two Philadelphia-area daily newspapers and a contributor to Referee, a periodical devoted to sports officiating.