Thompson 12 Will Play on Saturday


2007 U.S. WomenSOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- Alexis Thompson made it to the weekend at the U.S. Women's Open, but not exactly in the way she wanted to.
The 12-year-old Thompson -- the youngest player in history to qualify for the Open -- had a round cut short because of severe weather for the second straight day Friday at 12-over 134 through 31 holes.
Once second-round play resumes Saturday, the soon-to-be seventh grader probably will conclude her history-making summer vacation to Pine Needles by missing the cut.
'Knowing that I'm not making the cut, like you're going to be here Saturday and you made the cut, but it's (still) pretty cool, being here another day,' Thompson said.
Still, Thompson -- who before this week had never even attended, much less played in, an LPGA-level tournament -- realized a lifelong dream by qualifying for the Women's Open, meeting Annika Sorenstam and supplanting Morgan Pressel as the youngest golfer to play her way onto her sport's grandest stage.
'It's been great, and she's had a lot of fun, too,' said her father, Scott Thompson, who also is her caddie.
Her second round was suspended while she was in the 14th fairway, 200 yards from the pin. That's where things will pick up again at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
'We'll come out and battle our 4 1/2 holes and finish up, and see what happens from there,' Scott Thompson said.
She closed her first trip around the track by chipping in for birdie from 40 yards on the par-4 ninth -- her second birdie of the round -- to finish with a 5-over 76 that was one stroke better than Pressel's 77 when she was a 13-year-old debutante in 2001.
Things got much tougher later on for the preteen from Coral Springs, Fla. -- perhaps because she started feeling the effects of trouble sleeping the night before.
'I don't know why I couldn't sleep, but once I was woken up, I'm like, 'OK, let's go,'' she said. 'I'm sick and tired of being in this bed rolling over.'
The consistently straight, authoritative drives that highlighted her opening nine holes were nowhere to be found Friday. She had five bogeys on the front nine, bogeyed the 11th and 12th holes and made par on the 13th when play was delayed because of thunder and lightning while she stood in the 14th fairway.
'I think my kid might be worn out,' Scott Thompson said. 'We played a rough (23) holes today. It just was not good.'
In all, it was a significantly more challenging trip for Thompson around the difficult Donald Ross course than the day before, when the youngster with the braided ponytail, pink visor and omnipresent smile kept the ball in the fairway, overcame some early jitters and a 3 1/2 -hour weather delay, and was at 3-over 39 through nine holes when play stopped because of darkness.
'It was unbelievable -- I just wanted to be done, just par in or make a couple birdies,' Thompson said.
Then again, that was a theme for everyone -- only seven players were below par when play was halted, and none had begun their second round before the stoppage.
'By some of the scores, it looked like it played tougher today,' Scott Thompson said. 'I didn't really see it as playing tougher -- we just played worse.'
The youngest Thompson had as much time to perfect her pool and pingpong games at Pine Needles as she did her golf swing -- she spent the opening day's weather delay in the clubhouse playing table tennis and billiards with some new friends and, generally, being a 12-year-old.
A pair of delays on Day 2 combined to total 2 hours, 41 minutes, giving her more time to perfect those pastimes.
Of course, she insisted she preferred to play with putters and irons and not paddles and cues.
'It's over with now,' she said. 'But there's still tomorrow.'
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