Lexi Thompson flirts with historic PGA Tour cut at Shriners Children’s Open, will likely fall short

Lexi Thompson is attempting to etch her name in history at the Shriners Children’s Open held at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. (Orlando Ramirez via Getty Images)

Lexi Thompson is on the verge of a momentous weekend in Las Vegas.

During the second round of the Shriners Children’s Open, Thompson hovered around the cutline, but a series of late bogeys seemingly dashed her hopes.

Thompson is aiming to achieve a significant milestone as the seventh woman to compete in a PGA Tour event since 1945 when Babe Didrikson Zaharias was the sole female to make the cut.

After posting a score of 73 in the first round, Thompson recorded a 69 in the second round, leaving her at even par for the tournament. The projected cut is 2-under.

Reflecting on her performance, Thompson expressed her gratitude to ESPN, stating, “Just being able to pursue my dreams, something I’ve always aspired to do, especially playing against my brothers while growing up. And the male players have been incredibly welcoming, for which I am truly grateful.”

For a while, it seemed as though Thompson had a promising weekend ahead of her.

Starting on the 10th tee at TPC Summerlin, Thompson had a strong first nine holes. She then secured back-to-back birdies on holes 1 and 2, placing her at 2-under with seven holes left to play.

However, difficulty arose on the par-3 fifth when Thompson’s drive landed in the penalty area well to the right of the green. Consequently, she registered a bogey and followed it up with another on the par-3 eighth.

Although falling short of the cutline, Thompson remained upbeat after the round, as she was followed by a large gallery, including numerous children, throughout Thursday and Friday in Las Vegas.

“It’s an incredible feeling, witnessing the multitude of children out there cheering, ‘Lexi, Lexi. Go, Lexi,'” shared an emotional Thompson. “Sometimes it brings tears to my eyes because that’s what I play for – to inspire these young boys and girls to pick up a club or pursue their dreams, whether it’s golf or anything in life.”

Thompson received an invitation to play this week as a sponsor’s exemption. Despite not winning on the LPGA Tour since 2019 and being ranked 25th in the world, she stands out for her remarkable driving distance, a quality that sets her apart in men’s tournaments where the courses tend to demand greater distance than in women’s events.

In Las Vegas, Thompson boasted an average drive of 300.75 yards, whereas the average distance on the PGA Tour this season was 299.8 yards before the tournament commenced.

Furthermore, Thompson remains a prominent figure in the sport. In 2008, she made history as the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open at the age of 12. At the age of 16, she claimed her first LPGA victory, becoming the youngest-ever winner on tour at that time. To date, Thompson has secured 11 LPGA wins, including one major title at the 2014 Chevron Championship.

Thompson’s invitation to the tournament was also extended to add intrigue and excitement to the event.

“Having Lexi in the field and featured on the broadcast will undoubtedly attract more viewers’ attention, thereby benefiting the golfers, the sponsors they represent, the Shriners, the city, the golf course – the entire setting,” explained Shriners executive director Patrick Lindsey to Golf Magazine earlier this week. “We should all view this with an optimistic perspective as it draws more attention to the players, the Shriners, the city, the golf course – all of it.”

Thompson becomes the first woman to participate in a PGA tournament since Brittany Lincicome’s appearance at the Barbasol Championship in 2018. Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley, Michelle Wie West, and Zaharias are the only other women who have competed on the top men’s tour.


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