A Star in the Making

By Randall MellJuly 11, 2010, 5:47 am

2010 U.S. Women

OAKMONT, Pa. – You had to rub your eyes.

With the standard bearer walking up the 18th fairway in the fading light early Saturday evening at Oakmont Country Club, you were not sure you could believe the scores you were seeing.

So many folks want to make Alexis Thompson the future of American women’s golf.

They see the 15-year-old prodigy from Coral Springs, Fla., becoming the world’s No. 1 player someday.

It’s a lot of pressure, but on this day, in the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open, someday didn’t seem so far away at all.

Thompson was in a pairing Saturday with the last two players to hold the No. 1 world ranking before Cristie Kerr took over.

Thompson got to measure her skills against No. 2 Ai Miyazato and No. 3 Jiyai Shin in the oppressive spotlight of weekend major championship golf, and she outplayed them both. She beat them both on a surly course that ranks as one of the toughest tests the women will ever see.

Thompson shot 1-under-par 70 Saturday.

She was 10 shots better than Miyazato in this crazy, wondrous round.

She was two shots better than Shin.

She equaled the lowest round posted so far this weekend.

“She’s really impressive, a brilliant player,” said Dean Herden, Shin’s veteran caddie. “She’s got all the goods.”

Thompson, who turned pro three weeks ago at the Shoprite LPGA Classic, is already playing her fourth U.S. Women’s Open. She was the youngest player ever to qualify for the championship at 12. Now she’s making an improbable run at becoming the youngest winner of the championship. It seems nutty, impossible, but when the third round was halted due to darkness, Thompson was tied for fourth, five shots off the lead.

Herden was asked if he thought Thompson had a realistic chance to win come Sunday.

“Definitely,” Herden said. “If she’s got her driver going, look out.”

Herden was left scratching his head watching the way Thompson played the 340-yard 11th hole.

The bold ambition in this big-hitting youth radiated through her brave play there.

At the 11th tee, Thompson pulled out driver and aimed way left there. Her father, Scott, waved cameramen out of the way. Then Alexis rocketed a moon shot over into the 10th fairway. On purpose. It’s a risky uphill shot that required she carry some nasty bunkers 245 yards away, but she did it.

“It left her with a little wedge into the green,” Herden said.

Thompson birdied the 16th hole with a 60-foot bomb and also birdied the 17th to move into solo third place before making bogey at the last hole.

After a nervy start, Thompson looked like she was playing with the confidence of somebody who thinks she can win.

“I wasn’t really thinking about that,” she said. “I was just trying to come here and play my game this week. Just try to do my best. If I did win, it would just be a bonus.”

Thompson was the No. 1 junior girl and No. 1 women’s amateur before turning pro. She’s a winner of both the U.S. Girls’ Junior and PGA Junior Girls’ championships.

Her father, Scott, is on her bag this week. He was asked if he found himself dreaming of winning Saturday as she climbed the leaderboard.

“I’m not there yet,” Scott said. “I don’t want to get ahead of myself . . . But I’d be liar if I said I hadn’t thought about it.”

Alexis, who goes by Lexi, got off to a shaky start aside Shin and Miyazato.

“She was a little nervous,” Scott said. “She popped up a 3-wood about 170 yards on the first tee.”

But Thompson holed a nervy 6-footer for bogey at the first hole and didn't look nervous the rest of the way.

Thompson slammed her driver well beyond both Shin and Miyazato all day long.

“I was watching their games and how good they are and how good they putt,” Thompson said. “Just amazes me. They’re really consistent players. I learned a lot from them.”

Scott said it was a dream grouping for his daughter.

“Those are the two nicest girls you will ever play with,” he said.

Shin and Miyazato learned something watching Thompson. They learned what the future of American women’s golf looks like.

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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 halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

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

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Rory faces criticism

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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

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


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

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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