The Real Deal
Alexis Thompson Had Made Headlines Before. This Time 2008 Championship Annual: The Year In Review
She Confirmed That She Was Far From A Fluke.
By David Shefter
Alexis Thompson was just a normal, giddy, 12-year-old phenom when she became the youngest-ever qualifier for the 2007 U.S. Women's Open.
The world of golf took notice of this prodigy, but some wondered if this tweenie from Coral Springs, Fla., would be just another one-hit wonder.
Clearly she is not. Two months after the U.S. Women's Open, Thompson, whose older brother Nicholas plays on the PGA Tour, proved she had the goods by becoming the youngest quarter-finalist in the history of the U.S. Women's Amateur.
During the past year, the seventh-grader added 5 inches to her frame and a bevy of confidence: She qualified for the Women's Open again. Those changes clearly helped her power her way past fellow 13-year-old Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., 5 and 4, in the 36-hole championship match at The Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford, Conn. "This is huge," said Thompson of her first national championship. "Coming home with the trophy means a lot."
It was the first time in the event's 60-year history that two 13-year-olds had advanced to the final. It also was the longest Girls' Junior in history, thanks to thunderstorms that wiped away the second day of match play, forcing the championship's final to be played on Sunday instead of Saturday.
Another storm approached when Thompson was putting an exclamation mark on her victory. As the winds increased during the afternoon round, her length became an even bigger factor against the light-hitting Chung, whose impeccable short game had carried her through her first five matches.
Forty-five minutes after the final match, with Thompson clutching the Glenna Collett Vare Trophy, The Hartford G.C. was hit with more rain and thunder.
But by then, Thompson had done enough damage to the field. David Shefter is a USGA Digital Media staff writer.This article first appeared in the 2008 Championship Annual, a special publication mailed to USGA Members in November.