It's official: Lexi Thompson is coming to the LPGA Tour. The 16-year-old phenom who two weeks ago won the Navistar LPGA Classic by five shots, had her petition for full-time membership approved Friday by LPGA commissioner Mike Whan. Here is the full statement:
LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan today approved Lexi Thompson’s petition for LPGA Tour membership beginning in 2012. “Lexi Thompson is a unique talent who continues to grow, develop and mature both on and off the golf course,” Whan said. “I recognized her unique talent when I gave her the opportunity to earn her way onto the LPGA via the 2011 Qualifying Tournament. In the process of earning her way onto the Tour, she beat an elite field at the Navistar LPGA Classic that featured 15 of the top 20 players on the Rolex Rankings and 45 of the top 50 on the LPGA Official Money List. Additionally, her ability to handle the success and disappointment inherent to this game testifies to a level of maturity that I believe makes her capable of handling the emotional rigors of professional golf at the highest level. Therefore, effective at the start of our 2012 season, Lexi will officially become a member of the LPGA Tour.”
Thompson’s win at the Navistar LPGA Classic was her first official LPGA victory and qualified her for the season-ending CME Group Titleholders at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 14-20, 2011. She also jumped 80 spots on the Rolex Rankings to 44th in the world with the victory.
“Clearly, there is great enthusiasm and excitement as Lexi begins her LPGA career,” Whan said. “I think her future is bright and I hope she makes the most of this opportunity.”
By rule, a player between the ages of 15 and 18 years of age must petition the Commissioner for special permission to apply for membership, which Thompson’s management group did on Thursday, Sept. 29.