Date: January 14, 2011

The new Lexicon

Making her debut at the Handa Women&aposs Australian Open in 2010, Lexi Thompson wowed the crowds at just 15 years of age. The Florida local shot rounds of 71-75-75-74 and finished a credible 16th in her first trip outside of the United States. Speaking earlier in 2010 after inclement weather at the Women&aposs Open, Thompson could see the similarities between Commonwealth Golf Club and her home course, TPC Eagle Trace, in Coral Springs. “It (Commonwealth) is not actually that different from what I play on. The only difference is that if we got this rain, the course would be flooded. The greens here don&apost hold shots so much,” she said. Almost 12 months on and Thompson has begun a new chapter of her golfing career. Now professional, Thompson won US$336,472 in seven LPGA starts last year, playing the U.S. Women’s Open in addition to her six exemptions. She finished runner-up to World Number 1 Jiyai Shin at the Evian Masters in France. Thompson&aposs management are now in discussions with the LPGA about trying to secure more starts for her in 2011. Her 2010 earnings would have left in her 41st place on the money list but she is not a member of the LPGA Tour. As Tour membership is restricted to those 18 years and over and Thompson only turns 16 in February, LPGA bylaws usually limit non-members to six sponsor exemptions, plus the U.S. Women’s Open and Women’s British Open if they qualify. LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan is meeting with Thompson&aposs management team to discuss her petition to double her number of starts to 12 in 2011. A decision was expected early Saturday morning (AEST). Whatever the outcome is, Thompson returns to Commonwealth in three weeks shooting not only for her first title as a professional but to become the first American winner of the championship since Debbie Austin in 1978. There is history here too – a well known Swede claimed her maiden professional victory at the Women&aposs Australian Open at Royal Adelaide in 1994 and went on to leave an unforgettable impression on professional golf. That Swede was Annika Sorenstam – just one of this title&aposs most decorated former champions.