Lexi Thompson’s rookie season comes with a significant new component in this week’s RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, the domestic opener for the women’s tour.
When Thompson turns to her caddie in Phoenix for information this week, she won’t see her father, Scott, on her bag anymore. Thompson, 17, will play her first event without her father as caddie in more than two years.
Greg Johnston, a veteran who caddied for Hall of Famers Juli Inkster and Lorena Ochoa and also caddied for Michelle Wie, is Thompson's new caddie. Lexi met Johnston for the first time Sunday. He’s been toting in practice rounds this week.
“It’s definitely a change, looking over and seeing my dad outside the ropes,” Thompson said. “But it’s going well with Greg. I really like him, and I know my dad’s still there supporting me.”
Contrary to some folks’ suspicions, Lexi didn’t ditch her dad. He is moving over to return to the bag of his oldest son, Nicholas. Back before Lexi emerged as a phenom, Scott Thompson was Nicholas’ caddie. With Nicholas back on the Nationwide Tour seeking a return to the PGA Tour, dad’s helping where the family senses he is needed most.
“Dad really knows Nick’s game, and he wants to help him get back on tour,” Thompson said. “My brother always played well with dad on the bag.”
Scott is in Phoenix this week, where the Thompsons should get a good feel for how Lexi responds to a new face as her trusted ally inside the ropes.