According to those who know her best, second-year LPGA Tour player Charlotte Thomas wouldn’t need to worry about not making a great first, second or third impression. The 27-year-old is selfless, humble, inquisitive, and empathetic all the time. It’s her nature. It’s who she is.
You can ask anyone, like then Assistant Coach of Washington University’s Women’s Golf program Andrea VanderLende who knew she had met not only one of her players, but one of the program’s captains when recruiting Charlotte. “Definitely...to potentially be our next team captain,” VanderLende said. “You’re always scouting who’s going to be on the team when they come in. Sometimes they grow into those roles and sometimes it’s very obvious right away. You’re always looking for those kinds of people on your team.”
That certainty, to have Charlotte on her team based on her personality and charm, nearly faded when VanderLende went to watch her play.
“The funny piece is that when Charlotte came, we chatted for three or four hours and it was her first unofficial visit on campus,” said Coach Mary Lou Mulflur, Washington’s Head Women’s golf coach. “We were blown away by her maturity. When she left, we said, ‘We need that girl on our team.’ But we hadn’t watched her play. I sent Andrea (VanderLende) to watch her and Andrea wasn’t that impressed with her game. So, we formulated this email to Charlotte saying that ‘We really like you, but your game is not where it needs to be for a program like this.’ It was basically a letter that said you’re not good enough.”
Charlotte’s response only tugged on Coach Mulflur’s gut all the more.