Alexis Thompson wishes she were in England this morning trying to qualify for this week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open.
The 15-year-old American would be teeing it up today with 90 other players from 27 nations in the final stage qualifier at Hillside Golf Club in Southport if the British governing bodies that oversee the major championship hadn’t denied the family’s good faith appeal to get her into qualifying, according to her manager.
“We just wanted Lexi to have an opportunity to go qualify,” Bobby Kreusler, her agent at Blue Giraffe Sports, told GolfChannel.com by telephone Sunday in France. “The fact that she didn’t get the chance is not only disappointing but quite surprising.”
As a member of the American Curtis Cup team in the June matches, Thompson earned an exemption to today’s final stage of Women’s British Open qualifying. However, after she announced she was turning pro, the Ladies Golf Union, which runs amateur golf in Great Britian and Ireland, rescinded the exemption.
“That’s not unusual, we understand that,” Kreusler said.
Kreusler said Thompson was prepared to start at local qualifying, but she couldn’t.
“There was a conflict,” Kreusler said. “Lexi had no chance to go to local qualifying because it came while she was playing in the U.S. Women’s Open.”
Kreusler said the extenuating circumstances and Thompson’s record led him to seek one of the other exemptions that are available to final stage but his requests were denied.
The 90 players at today's final stage qualifier are competing for 17 spots into the Ricoh Women's British Open, which begins Thursday at Royal Birkdale.
Ladies Golf Union and Women’s British Open officials couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday night.
With her tie for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open at brutish Oakmont two weeks ago and her tie for second at the Evian Masters on Sunday, it’s reasonable to think Thompson would have had a chance at making history in her bid to become the youngest winner of a major championship. Kreusler made it clear the family never wanted a free pass into the championship, just a chance to qualify.