CARLSBAD: Lexi Thompson, the 17-year-old US prodigy who became the youngest winner in LPGA history last September, takes aim at another title starting on Thursday at the $1.7 million LPGA Kia Classic.
Thompson won the LPGA Navistar Classic by five strokes and was given a tour membership after becoming the youngest tour champion at 16 years, eight months and eight days. Now she gets to enjoy an official rookie season.
“I’m just going to focus on my goals and what I want to improve on my game,” Thompson said. “I’m really happy with where my game is at. To get that win gave me a lot more confidence.”
“I’ve been working on a lot of short game, putting a lot, doing my putting drills. But the specific thing I’m working on my ball striking is just posture, keeping my posture good and a good set-up.”
Scott Thompson, Lexi’s father, served as her caddie last season, but he now carries the clubs for older son Nicholas on the US PGA’s developmental tour, with Lexi’s clubs in the hands of veteran bagman Greg Johnston.
“Greg knows pretty much every golf course and knows it really well,” said Thompson. “He has a lot of experience so hopefully it will help me out in the long run, and hopefully he’ll be on my bag for a while.”
Thompson will challenge a field at LaCosta that includes World No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan, who won her second title in four starts this year at last week’s LPGA Founders Cup.
Tseng has 14 career LPGA victories and became the fastest LPGA player to win $8 million, doing so in 99 events over four years, one month and two days.