Thompson Will Do Just Fine


Of course the big news from this past weekend was Lexi Thompson’s win at the LPGA Navistar Classic. Thompson became the tour’s youngest winner at age 16. The dilemma facing LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan was whether to grant Thompson a card.

The movement on Twitter is the use of the hashtag #LetLexiPlay. For those that are not Twitter-ized, a hashtag is, for lack of a deep definition, a little saying attached to your tweet that will garner attention. Some of these hashtags are either insanely stupid or thought provoking. The #LetLexiPlay tag is the latter. There is a groundswell of support from players, writers, bloggers, media types (you name it) for Thompson to be granted full-time membership.

One of the concerns Whan (and possibly others) has is the “burnout” factor. With the LPGA schedule being as thin as it currently is, the chances of such are not as prevalent as it once was. This point has been noted many a time in the argument. I understand Whan’s concern here, but something John Feinstein recently stated on the issue of granting Thompson a card holds more merit.

Feinstein stated something along the lines of this. This is NOT verbatim and it’s not a quote, but it does give you a pause to catch your breath and think. He said that Lexi is home-schooled and one fear is that of social interaction. As the parent of home schooled children, I can honestly say it was a fear of mine, too. Their social interaction, for the most part, came from IM’s and chatrooms if they elected that course of action. Some days, you really did have to prod them to go outside as they became literally attached to a computer.

They have adapted very well. It actually depends on the individual. In some circles, those that are home schooled may be in a better place mentally for sports as the demands on a home schooled child are far greater than one might think. You not only learn your subjects, you also learn the value of time management.

No question that Thompson already possesses the physical tools, even at 16, in order to compete. The mental toughness is obviously there as well. The presence of Thompson could propel the LPGA in a direction it hasn’t seen since the retirements of Annika and Lorena. But there’s that social skills factor.

Me? I’m really not worried about that. All you have to do is observe what took place at the 18th green after Thompson wrapped up his first LPGA win. A number of LPGA players gathered around to congratulate Thompson on her victory, but it was something Thompson said during the presser that has me convinced things just might be all right (via

"Q. On the one end there’s a lot really established golfers here. What’s the kindest or most flattering words any of them have spoken to you since you won this tournament? Anything stick out?LEXI THOMPSON: Well, they all said, Great job after. Paula Creamer came up to me and said, If anybody was to change the record, it was you, and it should’ve been you. That meant a lot. And that I deserve it. So it definitely meant a lot to me."

Creamer is clearly one of the faces of women’s golf in America. To already have this type of respect among her peers can only aid in her “social development”. What didn’t hurt, as Thompson later pointed out, was having Tiffany Joh in her group. If anyone can help you relax, it’s Joh…

See what I mean?

Back to the social aspect. The more established American players will help Thompson. They already know what she means to the game as evidenced by Creamer’s remark.

I know there will be players that will gladly assist Thompson on this aspect of her “game”. As I have said, the players know Thompson’s value as a member of the LPGA both in marketability and possibly purse-wise. I’m by no means saying Lexi is another Tiger Woods as far as this area goes, but she’s been the “next big thing” for a while now. She would add a few sold tickets to each and every event where she’s entered. I would imagine that event sponsors would enjoy seeing a little more greenbacks.

And I think those non-playing aspects of Lexi Thompson would sway Whan into a decision to grant Thompson a card, age limit or not. If he doesn’t, the egg could get awfully thick.