Date: February 12, 2010

World Number 1 Amateur is Melbourne bound

World Number One women’s amateur Alexis Thompson will travel to Australia for the first time in March to compete at the Handa Women’s Australian Open at Commonwealth Golf Club. The Florida resident, who celebrated her 15th birthday this week, is the youngest female ever to qualify to play in the US Women’s Open when she qualified as a 12-year-old to play in the 2007 championship at Pine Needles Golf Club in North Carolina. Thompson, who is a student at Westchester Elementary School in Coral Springs, Florida, said she was looking forward to playing in Melbourne and hoped to fit in some sightseeing. I am so excited to make my first trip to Australia. I am fortunate to be invited to play in the Handa Women’s Australian Open this year at Commonwealth Golf Club and am looking forward to playing on one of Melbourne s famous sand-belt courses which I understand are so different from what we see here in the United States, Thompson said. As an amateur, I always look forward to these opportunities to play against the best players in the world. Away from the golf course I hope to have some time for sightseeing in Victoria during my trip. Hopefully I will have the chance to see some kangaroos and koalas while also seeing the rest of Melbourne. The more I read about my trip the more excited I get about coming to Australia on what I hope will be the first of many trips. Last year, Thompson tied for 21st at the Kraft Nabisco Championship to be the leading amateur and finished tied for 34th at the US Women’s Open. In 2008, Thompson won the US Girls Junior Championship and again made the field for the US Women’s Open but missed the cut by just two strokes. Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said Thompson s arrival would be a rare opportunity to view an extraordinary golfing talent. Alexis, despite her young age, has had a tremendous amateur career so far and is recognised internationally as one the absolute rising stars in the world golf, Pitt said. Her future is very bright and we re pleased that she’s making the Handa Women’s Australian Open her first Australian stop and will play the championship again in 2011. The Handa Women’s Australian Open is held from 11-14 March 2010 at Commonwealth Golf Club.