Lexi Thompson's Sweet Home Alabama
Lexi Thompson is a Florida girl, but the LPGA rookie wouldn't mind claiming neighboring state Alabama as a second home.
Thompson, 17, returns to Prattville, Ala., this week as the defending champion. She is the only American to win the Navistar LPGA Classic title in five years at the Senator Course. The other winners were Sweden's Maria Hjorth (2007), Mexico's Lorena Ochoa (2008 and 2009) and Australia's Katherine Hull (2010).
Thompson's record at the two Alabama tournaments on the LPGA is sterling, with a win, a second and contending for the title in all five starts over the last three years as both an amateur and professional.
Thompson has also turned her game around in the last two weeks after missing three consecutive cuts. She closed with 67-66 at the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va., two weeks ago for a T14. Last week at the Ricoh Women's British Open, she played the final 12 holes in 5-under to record an even-par 72, joining Paula Creamer as the only players in the field to shoot par in the rain and wind over the final 18 holes. She finished T17.
While Thompson's chances of winning the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award are bleak (she is second, far behind So Yeon Ryu), she has motivation supplied by her brothers. Older brother Nicholas, 29, is currently 19th on the Web.com Tour, and the top 25 earn their PGA Tour cards for next year. Middle brother Curtis, 19, a sophomore at LSU, matched his career-low 54-hole score of even-par 216 and finished T14 at last week's college tournament in Georgia.
Here's a look at Lexi's Alabama performances:
|2009||Navistar LPGA, Prattville||14-year-old amateur tied for lead with opening 65-69||T27|
|2010||Navistar LPGA, Prattville||First-year pro, 15, opened 69-68-68||T16|
|2011||Avnet Classic, Mobile||16-year-old tied for third-round lead before final-round 78||T19|
|2011||Navistar LPGA, Prattville||First-time winner was youngest LPGA winner ever||1|
|2012||Mobile Bay LPGA, Mobile||Shot 66-65 on weekend, finished one behind Stacy Lewis||2|