Monday, September 19

Lexi Thompson: To Be 16 and an LPGA Winner

Lexi Thompson (

LEXI THOMPSON WON THE NAVISTAR LPGA Classic on Sunday at the age of 16 years, seven months and eight days, making her the youngest winner in the 61-year history of the LPGA Tour. Marlene Hagge owned the record until Thompson tapped in to complete 72 holes at 17-under par for a five-shot victory. Hagge won the 1952 Sarasota Open (an 18-hole event) when she was 18.

Thompson is obviously an incredible talent who can help lift the LPGA as it competes for sponsor dollars and fan attention. But as a father with a daughter who turns 16 in a few weeks, it was refreshing for me to read the transcript of a golf prodigy who also happens to sound like a pretty normal teenager.

Following are excerpts from Lexi’s post-round press conference.

Q. If it’s not too private, what did you tell your dad [Lexi’s dad is her caddie] or what did your dad tell you after you won?
LEXI THOMPSON: He just said to me, he just said that I was amazing. He said, I can’t believe you just did that. (Laughing.) It was really a great feeling. When I was on my second shot on 18, he was like, You know, I’m probably going to cry so I’m not going to walk up with you. I’m keeping my sunglasses on. I’m like, All right dad. I’m going to cry, too. We can just cry together. But it was awesome.

Q. What does a 16-year-old do with $195,000?
LEXI THOMPSON: I have no idea. (Laughter.) I mean, I already have a car, so I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. Just going to have fun and relax and hang out with my family and celebrate.

Q. Who drives tomorrow, you or your dad, and how good of a driver are you?
LEXI THOMPSON: I’m not driving. My dad is driving. I have my comforter in the back and my pillow. I am laying down. I pretty much bring stuff for like half the way on the way up here, watch movies.

Q. I don’t know how far in the future it is, but do you want to going to college and be a pro golfer? Have you thought that far ahead, or do you want to leave the academics for later?
LEXI THOMPSON: I haven’t really thought about it that much. I’m still in high school. One more year left, so I’m definitely finishing high school. For college I haven’t even thought of it. It’s always there, so I can definitely always do the courses.

Q. Is there anything you would say publically to your dad right now?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I love him, of course. Of course if it wasn’t without him, I would definitely not be here. Having him on the bag and going through that experience with him, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

−The Armchair Golfer

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