Lexi Thompson grabbed a share of the lead Friday at the Meijer LPGA Classic despite a nagging right-wrist injury she apparently got punching out a writer.
Before somebody alerts the tabloid press, it should be noted the writer asked for it - literally.
It happened during a Golf Digest photo shoot in February, which landed Thompson, 20, on the magazine’s cover in a controversial pose, with her chest covered only by a towel draped over her shoulders. Conde Nast Entertainment associate producer Tony Hernandez asked Thompson, who uses boxing as part of her golf training, if he could interview her while she punched him, with both in boxing gloves and gear. Hernandez recorded the interview with a camera mounted atop his head.
Thompson, 20, punched Hernandez several times during the interview, hard enough to cause a deep bone bruise in her right wrist, according to Bobby Kreusler, her agent. Kreusler told GolfChannel.com that the injury has been a nagging issue ever since, with Thompson battling tendinitis.
The pain didn’t stop Thompson from taking the early lead through the morning wave at the Meijer Classic. With a 7-under-par 64, her low round of the year, Thompson moved into position to make a weekend run at her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the Kraft Nabisco early last year.
Thompson played with her right wrist wrapped.
“We’re not positive, but I think it’s from the boxing shoot, and now from just overuse,” Thompson said. “I need tape on it, that’s for sure. Without the tape, it still hurts pretty bad. I’m icing it a ton. So, we’ll see where it goes.”
Kreusler said Thompson has undergone MRI testing with doctors thoroughly examining the injury.
“There is no structural damage,” Kreusler said. “It’s a deep bone bruise, and it hurts quite a bit. It’s not a huge deal, just something that won’t fully heal until she gets some time off.”
Kreusler said Thompson has a high tolerance for pain and has been told she won’t injure the wrist more playing. If not for this summer’s full schedule of big events, including next week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, Kreusler said she would probably take three weeks off.
With Thompson’s powerfully steep golf swing, there’s speculation she is hurting the wrist taking deep divots.
“I want to make it clear, it’s not a function of her taking deep divots,” Kreusler said. “I was there when she hurt the wrist.”
U.S. Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster has expressed concern that Thompson, Michelle Wie and Jessica Korda might not be ready to play 36 holes a day, if required, during the Solheim Cup in September, because of nagging injuries. Kreusler said Thompson will be ready.
“There is absolutely no concern about that,” Kreusler said.