Lexi Thompson got word from her manager last Sunday in Arkansas that she’d been extended a sponsor’s invitation to next week’s Shriners Children’s Open. Thompson will be the seventh woman to compete in a PGA Tour event.
The 28-year-old, who is teeing up in this week’s Ascendant LPGA benefitting Volunteers of America event in Texas, said it’s the first time she’s been offered a spot in a PGA Tour field.
“I mean, growing up with two older brothers and around their friends I’ve always grown up playing alongside the guys I guess,” she said.
“Can’t say it’s been like a dream of mine to play on the PGA Tour. Of course, I’ve wanted to. I learned so much playing alongside the guys and am very inspired by them, so it’ll be a great opportunity for me.”
The event will be played Oct. 12-15 at TPC Summerlin, which last year played 7,255 yards with a par of 71. The field of 132 will compete for a purse of $8.4 million.
Thompson, whose two brothers have held PGA Tour cards, said she’s trying to get as much information as she can about TPC Summerlin and planned to reach out to Las Vegas resident Danielle Kang for some tips.
The invitation, she said, caught her by surprise, and she had to rearrange the plans she had for next weekend but couldn’t pass up what she called a “once-in-a-career opportunity.”
When asked about her expectations for the week, Thompson said she only hoped to embrace it all.
“Like I said, leaving a bigger impact and interacting with those kids, that’s my number one,” she said.
“Of course, I want to play good golf. I know my game and how I’m playing right now and how much work I’ve been putting in, so playing within myself and my game is all I can do. Not try to force anything on a longer golf course.”
Brittany Lincicome was the last woman to compete in a PGA Tour event five years ago. Babe Zaharias was the first to do it in 1935 at the Cascades Open. In 1945, Zaharias made the 36-hole cut at what’s now the Genesis Invitational in 1945. She remains the only woman to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.