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Golf Australia Express : Issue 12
WRITETHIS name down. You might not have heard of Lexi Thompson before, given she was just six months old when Karrie Webb won her first British Open in 1995, but get ready to see and hear plenty more from the American teen. The 16-year-old prodigy is set to be the next big thing in the women’s game after winning the Navistar LPGA Classic to become the youngest ever winner in the 61-year history of the LPGA Tour. It’s not like she shaved a couple of days off that mark either. Paula Creamer was 18 years, nine months and 17 days old when she won the Sybase Classic in 2005. Thompson was more than two years her junior—at 16 years, seven months and eight days—when she held her nerve over the final 18 holes to win by five strokes from fellow American Tiffany Joh and six from Angela Stanford. A picture of consistency, Thompson was the only player to card all four rounds under-par, setting up the victory with a six- under 66 on Thursday and a five-under 67 in her third round. There was a moment of concern for the youngster when she made consecutive bogeys at the par-4 11th and 12th holes, but she quickly steadied and grabbed both shots back at the par-3 16th and par-5 17th. On any other day Stanford’s seven final-round birdies would have run anyone down, but she had too much ground to make up and will rue a one-over 73 in her first round. Thompson’s historic win was also a family affair, with her dad Scott on the bag for her first win. The teen said they both struggled to keep it together as she shared the final walk up the 18th fairway with her old man. “J ust being there with my dad, he was like, ‘Lexi, just enjoy that walk’,” she said. “He told me, ‘I am going off to the side because I might cry.’ “You know, I definitely cried after I finished. Just finishing that with my dad on the bag, it was the best experience. I wouldn’t be out here without my dad. And my mum, of course.” The $195,000 first prize more than doubles her 2011 earnings, and with a few whopping sponsorship deals certain to come her way, she kicked in $20,000 for the tournament’s official charity, The Wounded Warrior Project. OTG “JUST FINISHING THAT WITH MY DAD ON THE BAG, IT WAS THE BEST EXPERIENCE. —Lexi Thompson WHAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE LPGA TOUR WRAP THE FINAL STANDINGS 1 LEXI THOMPSON USA -17 $195,000 2 TIFFANY JOH USA -12 $120,057 3 ANGELA STANFORD USA -11 $87,093 T4 BRITTANY LANG USA -10 $60,800 T4 KAREN STUPPLES ENG -10 $60,800 T6 STAC Y LEWIS USA -9 $40,753 T6 MEENA LEE KOR -9 $40,753 T8 MORGAN PRESSEL USA -8 $29,469 T8 JENNY SHIN KOR -8 $29,469 T8 JENNIFER JOHNSON USA -8 $29,469 LEXI’S ON FIRE