Blog Entry

Thompson, 15, can't shed LPGA training wheels

Posted on: January 14, 2011 1:55 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2011 1:56 pm
A carefully considered appeal to the LPGA for more starts for 15-year-old Florida junior golf star Lexi Thompson was denied Friday by the tour commissioner for unspecified reasons.

Thompson, who has turned pro and is limited to six starts until she is old enough to become a tour member at 18, sought double that amount in an appeal filed last month to the tour by her management team at Blue Giraffe Sports.

Wrote LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan in an email: “After careful consideration of Alexis (Lexi) Thompson’s petition requesting ‘limited membership’ and doubled sponsor exemptions, from six to 12, I have decided to deny that request for 2011.
“Lexi has remarkable skills for a 15-year-old, and if she continues to grow and develop, I believe that she should have a great future both on and off the golf course. This season, Lexi still will be able to secure up to six sponsor exemptions for LPGA sanctioned events, and also may choose to pursue additional playing opportunities through our ‘open’ Monday qualifier format.
“I appreciate the thought and passion that Lexi, her family and her management team at Blue Giraffe Sports put into their petition. It's clear to me that Lexi and her team have a quality, long-term vision."

He did not elaborate regarding his reasons for denying the proposal, however.

Had Thompson been a member, she would have earned enough in her limited starts last year to retain her card for 2011.
Category: Golf

Since: Jan 14, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2011 11:45 pm

Thompson, 15, can't shed LPGA training wheels

How can one offer that the decision was "carefully considered" when the result is "for reasons unstated?"  It is possible that this was competely arbitrary. And who benefits?  Not the fans who want to see her compete.  Seems like protectionism for the existing members.

Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posted on: January 14, 2011 10:59 pm

Thompson, 15, can't shed LPGA training wheels

I find it hard to believe that of the millions of kids out there, there aren't a few (since you only mentioned a few) that are capable of doing amazing things early on. Who are you to say that doing those things aren't what the kids really want? I agree that the parents shouldn't be pushing them too hard, but we don't know that they are. Saying that doing extraordinary things is "destructive and hurts their character" is WAY too broad. Could that be the case at times? Sure, but that doesn't mean it will ALWAYS be the case.

Since: Jun 17, 2009
Posted on: January 14, 2011 7:38 pm

Thompson, 15, can't shed LPGA training wheels

(Hey Peanut Gallery, It's proven not proved.)  
How about letting your child be a kid and not have to reflect back one day and regret all she missed?  What's the deal with these crazy parents letting their kids sail around the world, become movie stars, pop stars, or whatever?  It's destructive and hurts their character.  She can wait until she's 18 to dive head first in to golf. Let her explore other areas of who she is and who she wants to be.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2011 7:31 pm

Thompson, 15, can't shed LPGA training wheels

Don't agree, rather think that the LPGA is trying to ensure fair play.  Just because she's 15, doesn't mean that she should get additional exemptions.  She still has the opportunity to qualify for every tournament that she wants to play in.  They want her to earn her way in as opposed to getting a free pass.  We all saw how the Michelle Wie experiment went.  And let's be honest, it's not like people are going to be glued to their TVs in tournaments she does play in, after all, it's still women's golf.  Sounds harsh, but that's the reality of the situation.

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 5:04 pm

Thompson, 15, can't shed LPGA training wheels

I understand what they are doing here. I don't know if there is an age restiction for getting a LPGA card which would make her exemp for all tournaments. If there isn't one then why didn't she go to Q-School? That is how just about every player gets exemptions. By allowing her unlimited or even the dozen that she was seeking would cheapen the Q-School and set a precedent they obviously are unwilling to allow. As article says, she can play in all the tournaments she wishes if she plays in the Monday qualifier which is available to her at every tournament. So in reality the LPGA isn't limiting her from anything, they just want her to earn it just as other pros do. Nothing wrong with that in my eyes. If she is good enough she should be able to play every tournament she wishes. Now if she should win a tournament, she can throw that in their faces because I believe you get automatic exemption for rest of year for all tournaments

Since: Aug 11, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2011 4:33 pm

Thompson, 15, can't shed LPGA training wheels

I heard they wouldn't let her on the tour becuase they are considering a new format that would bring in more viewership.......ALL NUDE!!!

Since: Jun 3, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2011 4:32 pm

Thompson, 15, can't shed LPGA training wheels

If Thompson played it would increase interest and TV ratings. It's a shame that the LPGA feels that it has to decide what is best for Thompson as if they were another parent. It comes across as heavy handed and stodgy, two images that the LPGA should be trying to shed if it doesn't want to collapse more than it has. I don't see it as their job to worry about Thompson.

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2011 4:07 pm

Thompson, 15, can't shed LPGA training wheels

PeanutGallery is right about Lexi more deserving than Wie at that age.  The difference now is that there are less touna
ments, less money, and I think the commish is more concerned with Thompson taking food off the pros table when the pickings are slim on the LPGA tour than he is of Lexi harming herself emotionally and physically like Michelle seems to have done.  I am a guy who loves the LPGA tour and after losing Sorenstam and Ochoa to retirement, Natilie Gulbis to injuries...Alexis (call me "Lexi") Thompson would be a welcome sight on the women's tour.

Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 4:02 pm

Thompson, 15, can't shed LPGA training wheels

I understand that she is only 15 but the LPGA needs something to get more viewers and attandance at the events. Why not let her play and make money off of her? Plus, she is an American and they need more American girls on tour. Whan is an idiot!

Since: Apr 9, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2011 3:51 pm

Thompson, 15, can't shed LPGA training wheels

This isn't another Michelle Wie deal, this one actually played her way onto tour eligibility by her performances in 2010. Golf like Tennis, being a sport played solo, should let her on tour. She's proved she can compete.

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