Thompson could force tough LPGA decision if she wins Sunday

By Randall MellJuly 25, 2010, 1:09 am

What if 15-year-old Alexis Thompson shocks the world and wins the Evian Masters on Sunday in France?

She’s tied for fourth, just three shots back going into the final round.

If she wins, the question isn’t so much what she would do. It’s what would LPGA commissioner Mike Whan do. He could be on the eve of the most important decision of his early LPGA tenure.

Because here’s the deal: If Thompson wins, there’s a two-year exemption that goes with the victory. As a non-member of the LPGA, Thompson is still eligible to claim that exemption, which would grant her tour membership through this year and through the 2011 season. But because Thompson is 15, she would have to petition the tour for a waiver of its 18-year-old requirement for LPGA membership.

What would Thompson do? Would she petition?

Smartly, she refused to look past Sunday’s final round when asked about it after shooting 5-under-par 67 on Saturday.

“Haven’t thought about that,” she said. “I’m taking one tournament at a time and see where it takes me.”

Her agent, Bobby Kreusler of Blue Giraffe Sports, told this week that the family has no intention at this time of petitioning the LPGA for membership, but he said he couldn’t rule out the possibility they will re-think that if she won a tournament this year. He said the two-year exemption that comes with a victory would require serious consideration.

Frankly, it seems difficult to imagine the family wouldn’t petition for membership to claim the exemption if she wins. And it’s difficult to imagine Whan isn’t thinking about what he’ll do should that happen. Because even if Thompson doesn’t win today, she’s showing it’s no fantasy thinking she could do it later this year or even next year. In fact, the way juniors are invading the game, it seems inevitable some young girl is going to shock the world soon.

There’s precedent for granting waivers of the age restriction with Aree Song and Morgan Pressel both joining the tour when they were 17. Song had already met her high-school graduation requirements when granted the waiver. Pressel was just a few months away from doing so when she was allowed to attend Q-School and later join the tour.

With Thompson, it would be a heavier decision for the commissioner. She’ll be starting 10th grade in home school this fall. If the waiver’s granted, there would be a precedent that could open the door to a wave of juniors wanting to start their pro careers before graduating high school.

The odds are against Thompson winning today, with so many veteran winners in the mix, but who would have thought she’d qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open at 12, turn pro at 15, tie for 10th in her first appearance as a pro in the U.S. Women’s Open and be in the thick of the hunt Sunday at Evian?

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm