Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
The 15 year-old talented golf player Alexis Thompson’s requests to join the LPGA Tour this 2011. The young American player had petitioned the Tour for ‘limited membership’ and a doubling in sponsor exemptions from six to 12.
“This season, Lexi still will be able to secure up to six sponsor exemptions for LPGA-sanctioned events, and also may choose to pursue additional playing opportunities through our ‘open’ Monday qualifier format “, commissioner Mike Whan said.
LPGA commissioner had to balance Thompson’s petition against the needs of the Tour’s rank-and-file players, many of whom now struggle to compete in as many as 12 events each season because of limited fields and the economic downturn.
There are only 25 events on this year’s schedule, with 13 of them being held outside the United States. The 2008 LPGA Tour comprised 34 events.
Thompson, who as a 12-year-old became the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, made her professional debut last June at the ShopRite LPGA Classic where she missed the cut.
The month after, she tied for 10th in the U.S. Women’s Open at Oakmont before producing her best finish of the season two weeks later with a tie for second at the Evian Masters in France.
She competed in eight events last year, six through sponsor exemptions and two via qualifying.
After her precocious debut at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open, Thompson qualified again the next three years, and was a triple gold medal winner (individual, team, total team) at the Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship, matching the success of Paula Creamer (2003) and Lorena Ochoa (2001).