Will Alexis Thompson petition for LPGA membership

By Randall MellJuly 23, 2010, 4:44 am

The better Alexis Thompson plays, the more a certain question will be pressed.

Will she petition the LPGA in a bid to gain membership next year?

As a 15-year-old, Thompson would need a waiver of the LPGA’s rule requiring members be at least 18 years old.

In her first start since tying for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open, Thompson put up a 3-under-par 69 Thursday at the Evian Masters. She’s tied for 13th there. Notably, her brother, PGA Tour pro Nicholas Thompson, is tied for 13th at the RBC Canadian Open.

Though Alexis is making just her third start as a professional, her strong play is intensifiying interest in her LPGA plans.Thompson put on an impressive show outplaying Ai Miyazato by 10 shots and Jiyai Shin by two shots in their grouping together in the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open. Miyazato currently holds the No. 1 world ranking in women's golf. Shin held the top spot before Miyazato.

Yes, it's still early, but what’s Thompson's plan?

“We have no plans at this time to petition the LPGA,” Bobby Kreusler, her agent at Blue Giraffe Sports, told GolfChannel.com Thursday by telephone from France. “We’ve never had any intention to petition the LPGA, but I can’t tell you what’s going to happen if she goes out and wins a tournament. That’s a hypothetical. Right now, we’re comfortable seeing how the year progresses and Lexi plays.”

Thompson missed the cut in her pro debut at the Shoprite LPGA Classic at the end of June, but she made $72,131 two weeks later at the U.S. Women's Open in her first paycheck from a professional tournament. If Thompson were an LPGA member, she would rank 62nd on this week's money list by virtue of that first paycheck.

Thompson has three LPGA sponsor's exemptions left this season. She'll use them to play the CN Canadian Women's Open Aug. 26-29, the P&G NW Arkansas Championship Sept. 10-12 and the Navistar LPGA Classic Oct. 7-10.

Kreusler said the present plan next year is for Thompson to play 15 to 17 professional events. She would seek her limit of six LPGA appearances as a non-member, pursue opportunities at the Australian Women's Open and Australian Ladies Masters and seek spots in Ladies European Tour and Japan LPGA events.

Aree Song was the first player to seek a waiver of the LPGA's 18-year-old age limit. She was granted that when she was 17 in 2003. Two years later, Morgan Pressel also was granted a waiver that allowed her to join the tour at 17. 

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

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Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

“I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

“I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

“A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

“I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.