Lexi Thompson’s Historic Run at the Shriners Children’s Open
Lexi Thompson, a prominent figure in women’s golf, made headlines last week as she competed in the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. Thompson’s presence at the tournament was not only a significant milestone in her career, but it also brought attention and intrigue to the event itself.
Thompson’s goal was to become the first woman since Babe Didrikson Zaharias in 1945 to make the cut in a PGA Tour event. Zaharias remains the only woman to achieve this feat, so Thompson had the opportunity to make history. Although she fell just short of the cutline, her performance left a lasting impact on the tournament and the fans who cheered her on.
Throughout the two rounds she played, Thompson showed moments of brilliance and resilience. After starting strong and carding back-to-back birdies in the early part of her second round, she looked like she was on track for a historic weekend. However, a couple of late bogeys dashed her chances, and she finished the tournament at even par.
Despite missing the cut, Thompson remained high-spirited and grateful for the experience. She expressed her appreciation for the warm welcome she received from fellow competitors and the support of the gallery, particularly the young fans who cheered her on throughout the tournament. Inspiring and motivating the next generation of golfers is a driving force for Thompson, and she felt a sense of fulfillment in being able to do so.
Thompson’s invitation to play in the Shriners Children’s Open as a sponsor’s exemption was well-deserved. Known for her powerful drives, she brought a unique dimension to the tournament, as the courses on the PGA Tour generally play longer than those on the LPGA Tour. In fact, Thompson averaged 300.75 yards off the tee during the event, slightly outperforming the average distance on the PGA Tour this season.
At only 28 years old, Thompson has already achieved remarkable milestones in her career. She made history as the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open at the age of 12 in 2008. Two years later, she became the youngest-ever winner on the LPGA Tour when she secured her first victory at the age of 16. With a total of 11 LPGA wins and a major title under her belt, Thompson has firmly established herself as one of the leading figures in women’s golf.
Thompson’s participation in the Shriners Children’s Open was undoubtedly a strategic move to generate more interest and attention for the tournament. It succeeded in doing so as fans eagerly followed her journey and the media spotlight shined on the event.
The significance of Thompson’s presence in a PGA Tour event should not be underestimated. Before her, only a handful of women had played in top men’s tournaments, including Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie West. Thompson’s involvement not only showcased her talent but also highlighted the progress made in women’s golf and the increasing inclusivity of the sport.
The Shriners Children’s Open may not have witnessed Thompson making the cut, but her historic run will be remembered for years to come. It serves as a reminder of the immense talent and determination displayed by female golfers and the potential for further integration between men’s and women’s golf. As Thompson continues her journey and paves the way for future generations, her impact on the sport will undoubtedly extend beyond her achievements on the course.