Last weekend, she received the Bob Jones Award which the highest honor that the USGA can give to an individual. It was a very emotional and very special evening in Houston. The USGA put together a great video which summarized her career and also had some humor and seriousness mixed in. Her parents, coaches, fellow players, and friends as well as some Golf Channel anchors were interviewed for this wonderful video. She definitely shed a few tears that night.
In reaction to Tiger’s comments about wanting to ban the long putter as well as the act of anchoring the putter, she said that it is always good for people to take a stand on the issue and it is interesting to hear all of the debate on this issue now because the long putter has been legal for many years. She feels that nerves are a part of the putting stroke and that is inherent to the game of golf. If she could vote on whether or not to support a ban, she would say that she would not support a ban today. She knows that a lot of players have tried it but is not sure whether or not the anchoring of the putter is hurting the game or not. It is certainly an interesting debate.
She thinks that Tiger Woods will have a good week at Pebble Beach because of his past experience there and the fact that his swing looks very good and he seems to be more confident on the course. Last year, she predicted that Tiger would not have a good 2011 season and she was correct. It will be interesting to see how things turn out for him this year.
The announcement of the designer of the 2016 Olympic course has been delayed until March. She does not anything about any of the reasons behind the delay or what is going to happen next. She found out through news reports like everyone else and she is still walking on eggshells a bit and is still quite anxious as she waits to hear some news. She and Jack Nicklaus went to Brazil to make their presentation and she hopes that the Olympic Committee liked their presentation and will agree with their vision for the course. This is an interesting process because she is not used to waiting on a jury to make the decision instead of letting the score decide what happens.
The 2012 LPGA Tour is underway in Australia and she feels that there is a lot of optimism and energy involved with the LPGA Tour because of the increased number of tournaments as well as a new marketing campaign. Yani Tseng and Lexi Thompson are just two of many players who are driving this positive energy. If Lexi is successful, that could lead to more domestic events which would be wonderful for the LPGA Tour. Suzann Pettersen has worked very hard this winter and Annika thinks that if she can play well, she is someone who is capable of challenging Yani Tseng for World #1. Both Pettersen and Tseng are players who a young person like Lexi Thompson can learn from and look up to on the LPGA Tour. Lexi would be wise to lean on anyone who has been on the LPGA Tour for several years and it would be good to lean on and seek advice from a number of different players when she can because a lot of the top players do not tend to hang out with each other very often.
She is going to be involved in an event later this month called Escape for Good. It is part of Athletes for Hope which is a wonderful organization. Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, and Mia Hamm are just a few of the other athletes involved in this event in Phoenix and it is a great opportunity to bring a lot of great charities together. There are 75 spots available for people to purchase tickets and spend the weekend participating in a number of different events with a number of different athletes, including playing golf with her.