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Lexi Thompson to Petition for 2012 LPGA Membership

by Jeff Skinner

The buzz surrounding Lexi Thompson’s amazing win at The Navistar LPGA Classic continues.  Thompson is in much demand as the 16 year old weighs her strategy on whether to become an LPGA Member.

Due to the fact that she doesn’t meet the minimum age requirement of 18 she’ll have to petition the LPGA Tour for a waiver to the age requirement.  On today’s “Morning Drive” Thomson said in a phone interview that she “will file a petition for membership” but admitted that her and her team will wait until next week.  Thompson does not want to detract from the excitement surrounding the Solheim Cup.  This is the biggest week of the year for women’s golf and the move is just another display of the consideration and restraint that Team Thompson has used in nurturing Lexi’s career.

Golf Channel Senior Writer, Randall Mell stated that Thompson’s agent, Bobby Kreusler is drafting a petition to waive the age requirement but will be asking for membership for the 2012 season.  If Thompson was to ask for immediate tour membership this season would be Thomson’s rookie season and not 2012.  With the 2011 season mostly done and the majority of the remaining tournaments not being full field events it wouldn’t serve Thompson well to ask for 2011 membership.  If Thompson asks for membership for the 2012 season that would qualify as her rookie year and she would be 17 in February, making Michael Whan’s decision a bit easier.

Scott Thompson has taken great pains in preparing his children for the world of golf.  Lexi Thompson’s brother Nicholas is a successful professional golfer (PGA and Nationwide Tour) and her other brother Curtis is playing college golf at LSU.  While Lexi has matured into a champion golfer on the course she still is a normal sixteen year old off it.  She likes to hang with her friends and listen to hip hop, talk about boys and all the regular things teenagers do.  Thompson just has some different ways to spend her time on the weekends, like playing professional golf and winning tournaments.

The LPGA Tour is understandably hesitant in awarding membership to underage golfers but if there ever was a valid case for a waiver this is it.  Lexi Thompson deserves membership on the LPGA and it looks like the Thompson’s are making it easier for the tour to award her that membership.  It’s the right move for everyone.

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