High school graduation must seem like a lifetime away to Alexis Thompson. Anyone interested in joining the LPGA before her 18th birthday must receive special permission. In many cases, that request is denied (i.e. major champions Yani Tseng and Inbee Park). Fourteen-year-old Thompson, already a USGA champion and LPGA contender, is in the ninth grade.
“It will be hard to wait until she’s 18,” said Thompson’s swing coach Jim McLean. “She’ll be ready well before that.”
It’s hard to imagine the LPGA denying an early request from Thompson, who shared the 36-hole lead at last week’s LPGA event in Alabama. Thompson has been groomed for the LPGA. She’s homeschooled in South Florida, and with a big brother on the PGA Tour, has a good idea of what it takes to be successful.
McLean spent time working on Thompson’s backswing before she left for Prattville and didn’t expect her to play well right way. Thompson, ever the perfectionist, adapted quickly. McLean also has seen his student make great strides this year on the greens.
“I want her to be a great putter,” McLean said, “not a good one.”