Fifteen-year-old women’s golf sensation Alexis Thompson narrowly missed out on winning the Evian Masters in France and with it becoming the youngest ever LPGA event winner.
Thompson, who only turned professional just weeks ago, finished tied-for-second with Morgan Pressel, the 54-hole leader, and Na Yeon Choi, but the trio were just one shot behind the winner Ji Yai Shin, Thompson posting an identical five-under-par 67 to that of Shin, who now regains the number one spot in the LPGA world rankings.
Thompson hugged her father Scott, also her caddie, after sinking a birdie on the final hole, capping an excellent performance – though had she managed one shot better and then won a subsequent play-off with South Korea’s Shin, Thompson would have rewritten a page of the record books unaltered for almost six decades. The previous youngest winner on the women’s tour was Marlene Hagge, at 18 years and 14 days at the 1952 Sarasota Open. Thompson, at just 15 years, five months and 15 days, still has two and a half years to break that record – and judging by this result in France, which earned the teenager a cool $US242,711 to add to her $72,131 for joint-10th place in the Women’s US Open at Oakmont two weeks ago, it is a case of ‘when’, not ‘if’, this will happen.
I didn't know if it would go in, but it stayed right there.
Despite watching Shin surpass hers and Pressel’s clubhouse lead to seal victory, Thompson was clearly happy with her performance this time – after the US Open, she was self-critical particularly about her putting – though admitting that she had to work hard for the 18th-hole birdie.
“Since I hit my driver in the rough, I had to make birdie the old-fashioned way and stick a wedge shot. I hit a lob wedge from 98yds,” said the American. “[The putt] was breaking off and I didn't know if it would go in, but it stayed right there. I putted good all week, which gives me a lot of confidence.”
Pos To Par R1-R2-R3-R4 Total
T2 -13 69-72-67-67 275