At twelve years old, I was sorting hockey cards into books, by team, alphabetically. Lexi Thompson, was playing in the US Women ‘s Open. Not all heroes wear capes.
I spoke with Lexi on Wednesday before the tournament, and followed along with her third round today, which was nice because she was paired with Canadian Brittany Marchand. Two birds with one stone. Here are the takeaways from my chat with Lexi:
Q: I’ll start you off with an easy one. What do you think of the back-to-back par 5’s to finish?
A: I think it’s a great finishing last two holes. Probably wont be good for the pace of play; everyone going for the greens, but two good finishing holes. I think it’s great what they did with 18, moving it about 50 yards back. It’s a really good par-5. You have to pull off the tee-shot and you know, I’m hitting hybrid, well mostly hitting hybrid, into the green.
Q: You were practicing your short game and short putts quite a bit before the round. How does that part of your game feel right now?
A: I feel pretty good! I’ve been working on it a lot. I had one week off before this and I spent it working on my short game a lot, so it’s all just a matter of it coming together for me.
Q: Do you play against your brothers a lot? And if so, who usually wins?
A: When they’re both home, we get to play together pretty often. My older brother, Nick, is on a medical right now, so he’s not able to play too much. But yeah, when we’re all together we are usually able to have some fun matches. Usually at 7:30 in the morning we’re out playing 18 or more holes.
Q: And how do you stack up?
A: Usually pretty good. I play from two tees up at Trump, but I play them straight up. Sometimes I win! But, it’s not an every day thing.
Q: Have you ever come across “The Donald” at Trump’s course?
A: Yeah, I’ve gotten to play with President Trump, probably, around 15 times. I haven’t seen him too much lately (laughs).
Q: Anything stick out from those rounds?
A: It’s a lot crazier now that he is President! A lot more security. But you know what, he’s a great man in what he does for golf in general, and how he has treated my family is pretty amazing. And what he’s doing for the country is great. (Laughs) I have no comment on that!
Q: Ok, no further Trump questions! Can you tell me a little bit about your childhood?
A: I started golfing when I was 5. Grew up on a golf course. My two older brothers were really into golf when I first started out. My mom played in high school and college, but just for scholarship reasons. My Dad played a lot more when we were younger, but he doesn’t anymore. He usually travels with us, or is caddying for us. But yeah, I just grew up around the game. Being with my brothers was always nice; always trying to beat them. But just to have them there giving me advice, was what I needed
Q: What was your path to the LPGA Tour?
A: I didn’t go to college, I turned pro when I was 15. I did online schooling 6th grade through high school, and finished a year early. Then I turned pro.
Q: What’s the most nervous you’ve ever been on a first tee, or on the golf course in general?
A: Well I made my pro debut at the Shoprite LPGA in New Jersey. I definitely was pretty nervous, but I would say the most nervous I was, was either Solheim, or when I made it to my first US Open at 12. Every part of me was shaking. I don’t even know how I managed to hit it straight. There, it was with me the entire round. But it was more excitement. I was just so excited to be there with my role models; girls I looked up to, playing in the same tournament I was! It was a pretty unbelievable feeling.
Q: Tiger and Phil are playing their $10 million match. Who would you pick from the LPGA Tour to go head-to-head for $10 million?
A: Ooh, that’s a loaded question. Honestly, anyone at the top of the ranks right now. There are so many great players out here, its hard to pinpoint really one. I wouldn’t even be able to answer that. There are so many good players out here, honestly, anybody at the top would be very exciting to watch.
Q: Would you ever be interested in playing a PGA Tour event?
A: Yeah, I’d definitely be interested! I’ve always said that if I were to play in a PGA Tour event I’d want my brothers to be in it as well. It would be a really cool story. But, that being said, playing out here is hard enough to win (Laughs).
After three rounds, Lexi is in a tie for 30th place at 5-under-par. She tees off in the final round at 10:15 am, and will once again be paired with Brittany Marchand.