Lexi Thompson pulls out of LPGA Q-School
A mere two days after she became the youngest LPGA Tour winner, Lexi Thompson pulled out from the second stage of LPGA Q-school next week.
The report in Golfweek described the 16-year-old’s agent Bobby Kreusler confirming the withdrawal of Tuesday.
Thompson reportedly said she intended to file a petition to be exempted from the tour’s age requirement of 18 years old.
This is not surprising to Mike Whan, LPGA commissioner, who said he would consider any petition filed by Thompson as soon as he gets back from the Solheim Cup in Ireland, which starts this Friday.
When Thomspon was asked if she would consider playing events in the PGA tour just as Michelle Wie did before joining the LPGA Tour full-time, she said, “I really just want to focus on women’s golf,” and expressed disinterest in playing on the men’s tour.
Kreusler had reportedly spoken with Whan on Sunday, but said he would wait until after the Solheim Cup to file a petition.
Kreusler commented that this was a time for Thomspon to “relish” and enjoy her victory. Since it was the week of the Solheim Cup, he felt that the focus had to be on that.
He confirmed that Thompson would not be at second stage, but clarified that it was not based on anything he had been told. He described his dialogue with Whan as always “very honest, very straightforward, and productive.”
He expressed confidence that he and Whan will reach a conclusion that was mutually acceptable.
Earlier this year, Thompson had petitioned the LPGA to try, through the Q-School, for 2012 membership. She garnered the victory for the first stage with 10 shots. Tuesday was the schedule for the second stage to begin, in Venice, Fla.
Last weekend, Thompson won the Navistar LPGA Classic with 17 under, making her the youngest champion in the tour by over two years.
It has been 15 months since she became professional, and Thompson has since played 14 events and had three finishes in the top 10, having earned over $500,000. Also, she is the youngest player to make it to the U.S. Open back in 2007, when she was only 12 years old.
After her victory, Juli Inkster, a major champion for seven times, commented that she felt they should give the 16-year-old full membership. “It’s kind of silly, isn’t it?” she said, explaining that she felt it made the LPGA look bad for requiring qualifying school.
The age limit for the LPGA was meant for the protection of players, not just developmentally but also emotionally. Golf is not like figure skating or gymnastics, as most female golfers played their best games during their 20s and 30s, making it senseless for a person in her teens to rush to get onto the tour, most especially if it would have an irreversible impact on other aspects of life.
However, Whan notes that there may be exceptions, expressing that he was looking forward to reading the petition, as they appreciated Thompson as “a unique case.”