Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lexi Thompson become the LPGA Tour's youngest member

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (AP)—Lexi Thompson proved she was good enough to play on the LPGA Tour as a 16-year-old when she beat a strong field by five shots two weeks ago. She was...
granted membership Friday based on more than birdies and bogeys. LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan approved Thompson’s petition to become the LPGA Tour’s youngest member effective in January, impressed with how the Florida teen handled herself in all aspects of tour life. “I’ve seen her at press conferences,” Whan said. I’ve seen her when she played well, I’ve seen her when she hasn’t played too well. I’ve seen her at pro-am parties. I’ve seen her when fans are coming up to her when it’s maybe not the best time.”

Michelle Wie turned pro at 15, but didn’t join the LPGA Tour until going through Q-school three years later. Whan said he has had a little more than a dozen requests from teenagers, either to join the LPGA or go through Q-school. “I don’t want young players who are freshmen and sophomores in high school contemplating whether to turn pro. I’ve said `no’ maybe 50 times and said `yes’ once,” Whan said, skewing the numbers for emphasis. Instead, he pointed to Thompson’s resume of playing on the LPGA Tour as a pro and as an amateur, and how she handles everything from the rigors of travel to dealing with sponsors and fans.

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