All in the Family

September 22 2012, Katie Ann Robinson

Golfing considered a family affair in the Thompson family

In the small South Florida community of Coral Springs, the Thompson family is usually found stirring up a little competition at their home course of TPC Eagle Trace. Although it may appear to be a pleasant, family golf outing, Lexi Thompson declares that is never the case.

Ever.

“When we’re all home we pretty much play 18 or more holes a day,” Lexi says of her family’s’ competitions. “It’s like chipping contests, putting contests, driving contests, a little bit of everything. It’s always really intense.”

As the youngest of three and the only daughter of Scott and Judy Thompson, Lexi grew up watching her older brothers – Nicholas, 29 and Curtis, 19 – compete in golf tournaments all over Florida. It didn’t take long for Lexi to join them on the course, picking up her first golf club at 5 years old and competing in her first tournament a year later.

The family’s passion for golf was easily fashioned from Judy’s talent, a successful junior and collegiate golfer, and Scott’s fierce competitive bone. With these dynamics, their encouragement and influence positioned the Thompson clan to excel rapidly in their golf careers. As a Georgia Tech Bulldog, Nicholas was a component of the 2002 ACC Championship team and turned pro shortly after graduating. He has gone on to play on the PGA and Nationwide Tours, while Curtis currently competes for the LSU Tigers golf team.

Lexi says her brothers’ achievements inspired and motivated her to take a strong approach to her golf pursuits.

“I’ve always looked up to my brothers,” Lexi says. “I just try to follow in their footsteps and they’ve always been there for me, just supporting. It means a lot. I know I can always go to them if I need help.”

At the age of 17, Lexi already boasts a golf résumé unlike most young golfers, holding many world records and currently the youngest competitor with an LPGA Tour card.

Her first appearance on the LPGA came when she qualified for 2007 U.S. Women’s Open when she was only 12. The following three years, Lexi competed in eight events notching two top-10 finishes in 2010 including a tie for second at the Evian Masters Presented by Société Générale and a tie for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open.

But it wasn’t until the following year when she stunned the nation at the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic. At that event she shattered an LPGA Tour record and became the youngest winner at 16, which she held for nearly a year until it was eclipsed by 15-year-old Lydia Ko at this year’s CN Canadian Women’s Open. After her performance in Alabama, Lexi petitioned the LPGA, which requires a member to be at least 18 years of age, and was granted membership by Commissioner Mike Whan  in the fall.

After an eventful 2011 season, Lexi claims all her hard work as a youngster finally paid off.

“It means a lot to me, obviously,” Lexi says of the records she holds. “I’ve worked extremely hard my whole life and those were my goals. I go into every tournament wanting to win and I was happy that it paid off for a few weeks. Hopefully I get a few more wins and continue to work hard at it.”

After her stellar performance in Alabama, golf observers quickly ordained the youngster the future of American golf, which may have caused some pressure heading into her rookie season. But Lexi continues to amaze the nation as ranks second in the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year race behind So Yeon Ryu and is 29th on the season money list with $326,135.

“I think my rookie season has gone pretty well,” Lexi said. “I had a good finish at the Mobile Bay Classic, so that was fun. I’ve struggled the past few weeks and missed a few cuts but I’m working through it and I’m working on my game and just trying to gain confidence and just have fun. I think it’s gone pretty well overall and so now I just have to keep improving a little bit on my game.”

With so many accomplishments under her belt already, Lexi is looking forward to continuing that success and plans for long LPGA career. 

“This long journey that I have ahead of myself I’m mostly looking forward to the places I get to see and the golf courses I get to visit,” says Lexi. “Last week was my first time at the British Open so it was exciting. Getting to experience all this is amazing and hopefully I can come out and win along the way.”

 

Topics: Thompson, Lexi

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