Why was Alexis Thompson denied a chance to play in Monday’s final stage of qualifying for the Ricoh Women’s British Open?
The answer came back simply and directly today from the Ladies Golf Union.
“Alexis Thompson didn’t meet the qualifying criteria,” Shona Malcolm, CEO of the Ladies Golf Union, wrote in an e-mail to GolfChannel.com.
The Ladies Golf Union governs women's amateur golf in Great Britain and Ireland.
Malcolm explains more below, but here’s the background if you’re catching up.
Thompson, the 15-year-old pro from Coral Springs, Fla., earned an exemption to the final stage of qualifying for the Women’s British Open as a member of the American Curtis Cup team. That exemption, however, was rescinded by the Ladies Golf Union when she turned pro. Thompson wanted to play her way in anyway, starting at the pre-qualifier, but she couldn’t because it conflicted with the U.S. Women’s Open. Her appeal for an exemption to final stage qualifying was denied.
“She would have been in [final qualifying] as a Curtis Cup team member had she remained an amateur – this is specifically referenced in their invitation letters – and had she won at Evian, she would have qualified as a tour winner,” Malcolm explained in the e-mail to GolfChannel.com. “She was unable to take part in [prequalifying] because it took place close to the US Open. Our [prequalifying] dates are consistent with previous years. The date of the US Open was the one that, in fact, changed.
“Five players qualify from the LPGA event, the Jamie Farr, [effectively an overseas final qualifier], but Lexi did not participate in that event.
“We get many requests for exemptions into the event proper and into [final qualifying] and we treat all consistently and transparently.
“It is disappointing that Lexi isn't exempt this year, but she is a real talent and we hope she'll play herself in future years.”