She's barely old enough to drive a car, yet 16-year-old Lexi Thompson is the victor in this weekend's Navistar LPGA Classic in Prattsville, Alabama. She also set a major record at the same time. The golf organization says Lexi is the youngest golfer ever to win a Tournament in the LPGA's 61-year history. She shot a final round two under 70 to clinch her win.
Darren Carroll/Getty Images
Lexi Thompson holds the champion's trophy after winning the Navistar LPGA Classic on September 18, 2011 in Prattville, Alabama.
Lexi Thompson holds the champion's trophy after winning the Navistar LPGA Classic on September 18, 2011 in Prattville, Alabama. Darren Carroll/Getty Images
Lexi called it a 'dream come true', according to CNN, which says her dad, Scott Thompson, was near tears on the final fairway.
Before Lexi, the LPGA says its youngest Tournament winner was Marlene Hagge, who was barely 18 when she won the 1952 Sarasota Open. And the youngest winner of a multi-round LPGA event was Paula Creamer, who was also 18 when she took the 2005 Sybase Classic. Creamer was one of Lexi Thompson's competitors this weekend.
A glance at Lexi's webpage reveals a cheerful teenager, who really enjoys golf - until you get to her 'Career Highlights' page and you actually have to scroll down to reach the bottom to read all of her accomplishments. She's won tournaments and been a runner up or placed highly in several golfing events. The LPGA helpfully notes Lexi qualified for the U.S. Women's Open when she was 12 years old.
Hall of Famer Juli Inkster marveled at the teenaged golfers' ability. "They're starting younger and they're just so much better", she told ESPN.
She's right to be wowed. One of Lexie's friends, Alabama amateur golfer Janie Jackson, also made the Navistar Tournament cut last Friday before hustling home briefly to handle senior class homework, according to the Huntsville Times. Janie is 17; she's a defending state high school champion who plans to play for the University of Arizona. Although Janie didn't finish on the top of the pack, she was able to be there when Lexi received her winner's trophy.
With her win, Lexi receives the $195,000 top prize and says she plans to donate $20,000 to a military veterans' charity.