PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – What a week for Lexi Thompson.
The LPGA rookie has hired a new caddie, Greg Johnston, to try out the bag toter’s role that her father has handled nearly all of her developing career. There’s a lot more, though. The 17-year-old phenom met Tiger Woods for the first time, briefly, in a comical passing Saturday along the ropes during the Honda Classic. She played the Honda pro-am Wednesday with Greg Norman, and she’ll play Monday with Jack Nicklaus at the pro-member event at prestigious Seminole in Jupiter, Fla.
Thompson, from nearby Coral Springs, has spent all week at the Honda Classic with her father, Scott, and, mother, Judy. She was following Rory McIlroy for parts of Sunday's round.
Thompson, the youngest winner of an LPGA event, and the youngest pro to win a Ladies European Tour event, told GolfChannel.com that she will team with Johnston in her next event, the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix in two weeks. Johnston is a veteran who has caddied for some of the biggest names in the women’s game. He has toted for Hall of Famers Juli Inkster and Lorena Ochoa and also for Michelle Wie.
Scott Thompson is giving up Lexi's bag to move over to the Nationwide Tour to caddie for Lexi’s brother, Nicholas, who is trying to get his PGA Tour card back. It’s a big move given the strong bond and trust between father and daughter.
Lexi had some fun Saturday when Woods walked past her during his round. She was waving a “Tiger Towel.” She said Woods looked at her, then did a double take, then a triple take to confirm his sighting. When he was sure it was her, he gave her a wave and smile.
“It was funny,” Lexi said.
Before Saturday, they had never met.
Norman loves Thompson’s game. Their pro-am pairing marked the second time they’ve played. Nicklaus will get his first up-close look at her game when they go off at Seminole on Monday.