Studies show that a typical teenager in the United States spends about 14 hours a week playing video games.
But you won’t see 18-year-old Lexi Thompson with a controller in her hand very often, unless she’s playing as herself in the new EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14.
Lexi was selected to be one of six LPGA Tour players to be featured in the latest edition of the video game. It was a daylong process of recreating shots from driving to chipping to putting and every expression from celebration to disappointment, all while wearing a bodysuit of sensors.
She was joined by Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, Suzann Pettersen and Michelle Wie along with PGA legends Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus on the popular golf video game.
Now, how many 18-year-olds get to say they’ve done that?
“Being on EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 is a huge honor, especially to be on it with such great players and legends,” said Lexi. “I never really thought that golf would bring me to this, but I’m so glad it did. It’s definitely an experience I’ll never forget.”
The game was launched in April surrounding the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which is one of the courses available on the video game. Thompson says she was impressed when she saw the finished product.
“My reaction was just amazement,” said Lexi. “I mean seeing my avatar so much like me, my outfits and everything, was unbelievable. Even the golf courses on the game have the actual breaks on the real greens.”
Growing up with two older brothers, the Thompson clan would admit there was rarely ever a time during their childhood, and even still today, that they were never competitive with each other. Whether it was playing a video game or a putting contest at their home course in South Florida, the family rivalry was always prevalent.
However, the amount of time allotted for video gaming barely played second fiddle to their time spent preparing for their professional golf careers. All three made their way up the ranks in junior and amateur golf, and now the oldest Thompson, Nicholas is making his way on the PGA Tour while Curtis plays a key role on the Louisiana State University Tigers golf team.
But whenever time allowed for the Thompson’s to play video games, it would typically always be Tiger Woods PGA Tour. Lexi says the reaction from her brothers to the news of her being featured in the game was pure excitement, far from envy.
“They were actually really happy for me,” said Thompson. “They both said immediately ‘you have to get me a game!'”
At the age of 18, Lexi already boasts a résumé that is unmatched by most youngsters. Holding many world records and currently the youngest competitor with an LPGA Tour card, Lexi now claim a spot in an EA Sports game as well as appearances in Teen Vogue and other magazines to her extracurricular activities.
For someone who’s already accomplished so much in her golf career, there’s no question she has become an example for young women around the world, which is the most rewarding part of it all for Lexi.
“To be a role model to younger kids is truly the best feeling to me,” said Lexi. “I'm out playing a sport I love and following my dreams and I'm just showing that. I want kids to do the same thing and do what they love.”