The British media is blaming Michelle Wie for Alexis Thompson’s inability to gain an exemption to Monday’s final-stage qualifier into the Ricoh Women’s British Open:
Here’s the report today from the United Kingdom’s The Independent:
Young Alexis Thompson is paying for the Michelle Wie controversy. The organisers of the Ricoh Women's British Open yesterday admitted that the furor which greeted the Hawaiian's invite five years ago was instrumental in them denying the game's latest 15-year-old sensation from trying to qualify for this week's major at Birkdale.
Thompson - who on Sunday produced one of the greatest performances by a schoolgirl when finishing runner-up in the Evian Masters, an event featuring all the world's top players - was refused entry to yesterday's qualifier at Hillside from which 17 emerged . . .
Shona Malcolm, the chief executive of the Ladies Golf Union, insisted there was nothing the governing body could do to accommodate Thompson and revealed it was the preferential treatment of Wie which led to them adopting strict criteria. When Wie was 15 she received a 'special exemption' into the Women's British Open, ironically held at Birkdale, where she was to finish third. 'We have tightened up our regulations since then because of other players' criticisms over that exemption,' said Malcolm.
Many will support with the LGU's hard-line, but Thompson's situation is different from her starlet predecessor. As a member of the US Curtis Cup team, Thompson received an exemption into final qualifying, but, under their rules, the LGU rescinded it when she turned pro six weeks ago. That meant her only possible route was through the first stages of qualifying . . .
Her loss does seem the tournament's loss, particularly as the women's game is currently so desperate for superstars.