Lexi Thompson joins female game's elite
BY Bruce Young | LPGA Tour | 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship | Wrap | 07 Apr 2014
19 year old American, Lexi Thompson, is a major championship winner having claimed the opening major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco, by three shots over Michelle Wie with another four back to one of the pre tournament favourites Stacy Lewis.
In winning today, Thompson became the second youngest player ever to win a major, secured her fourth LPGA Tour title in addition to the one Ladies European Tour title she owns and will move up several places from her current 9th place in the Rolex World Ranking.
Thompson led through 36 after her second round of 64, then shared the lead into round four with another former precocious talent, Wie.
By the time she reached the turn today Thompson was five shots clear of Wie after an outward nine of 32 and although Wie closed the gap with two birdies early in the back nine Thompson was not making any mistakes and she cruised to a three shot win.
Thompson first won on the LPGA Tour two and a half years ago, forcing the hand of the Tour to consider her application to join before the normal age requirement of 18. She has shown that being allowed access to the tough school of professional golf has not impacted on her career, much of that because of the guidance she has received from her golfing family, all of them fine golfers in their own right.
Wie, long considered a precocious talent who had not always gone about things the right way, is beginning to emerge as a still young golfer with time on her side and a world of experience behind her.
With the taking on of the male game and a college degree now well behind her, Wie is developing a level of consistency that was not always apparent in her earlier years but she is slowly but surely developing into the player who will become the star she always promised to be. Ten top twenties in her last eleven starts including this equal best finish in a major (she finished runner-up in the 2005 LPGA Championship as a 15 year old) suggests she will be an ongoing force in the female game.
Despite a final round of 73 Karrie Webb improved four places to share 11th while West Australian Minjee Lee further highlighted her brilliance when leading the amateurs in a share of 24th position. Su Hyun Oh also did well in her first major appearance when she made the cut and finished 51st.