Thompson considers petitioning LPGA for waiver

By Randall MellOctober 29, 2010, 8:27 pm

Fifteen-year-old Alexis Thompson is seriously considering petitioning the LPGA for a waiver of its age restriction that would allow her to play the tour as a member next year.

Thompson’s family and management team is considering petitioning based on status she would earn as a non-member on the LPGA money list this year if not for the tour’s requirement that members be at least 18 years old.

“We have taken no action, but we are absolutely analyzing and investigating our options,” said Bobby Kreusler, Thompson’s manager at Blue Giraffe Sports. “We are talking to experts in all walks of sports on this issue.

“We would not consider this request if we were not 100 percent certain that Lexi had shown a very clear ability to play at this level.”

Thompson, who turns 16 in February, turned professional this year and won $336,472 in the six LPGA starts she was limited to as a non-member. Those winnings would rank her 29th on this week’s LPGA money list.

Based on the Tournament and Players Regulations of the LPGA, non-members who finish among the top 80 on the final money list are eligible to apply for tour membership.

Kreusler stressed that Thompson’s petition for a waiver would be different from requests Morgan Pressel, Aree Song and other players under 18 have made as amateurs seeking to earn tour membership through LPGA Qualifying School.

“Unlike any other petition in the past, this is a completely different request, under completely different circumstances,” Kreusler said.

Kreusler said Thompson’s petition is different because she’s earned the status she’s seeking and has proved herself competitively, socially and emotionally while doing so as a professional in LPGA events. Also, Kreusler stressed Thompson, a home-schooled sophomore in high school, is not interested in playing a full-time schedule next year. He said the plan is for her to play just 15 to 17 tournaments, but she would like more than six of those events to be LPGA tournaments.

“What I may be asking for is different from what people think,” Kreusler said.

Thompson faces a rigorous travel schedule to get to 15 events as a non-member. As it is, she will travel to play the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in December, and the Australian Women’s Open and ANZ Ladies Masters in Australia in February. Her schedule limitations also have her playing men’s mini-tour events this winter.

Kreusler said he’s opened a dialogue with LPGA commissioner Mike Whan and LPGA senior vice president of operations Jane Geddes. He said he has until the end of the year to officially petition.

'It was great to have Lexi with us on tour for several events this season,” said Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LPGA’s director of media relations. “She played well, endeared herself to the fans and demonstrated that she has a bright future in professional golf. Whether she is ready at such an early age is a decision that will ultimately be made by Commissioner Whan. Lexi has not yet petitioned the LPGA for membership and we won't be able to address until it happens, if indeed it does happen.'
Thompson, the former U.S. Girls’ Junior champion and the youngest player ever to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, tied for second at the Evian Masters as a pro this summer and tied for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open. Her $336,472 in earnings ranks her just four spots behind Azahara Munoz, who has made 17 starts this year and leads the Rolex Rookie of the Year standings. Thompson’s money winnings also rank ahead of rookie Beatriz Recari, who won the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge two weeks ago and ahead of rookie Amanda Blumenhurst.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

Getty Images

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.