Lexi Thompson parachuted onto a golf course and is now leading the tournament

Lexi Thompson parachutes to LPGA event. Gabe Roux

Lexi Thompson parachuted onto a golf course and is now leading the tournament

LPGA Tour

Lexi Thompson parachuted onto a golf course and is now leading the tournament

One day after Lexi Thompson parachuted onto the first tee at the Kingsmill Championship, she landed at the top of the leaderboard after an opening 6-under 65. Thompson, still riding a high from her bucket-list adventure, birdied six of the first seven holes on the front side (her back nine) of the River Course. She leads a trio of American players at 5 under, including Gerina Piller, Brittany Lincicome and Angel Yin.

“The only way I would jump out of a perfectly good plane is with a SEAL on my back,” said Thompson. “There was nothing like it. Words can’t describe the feeling. It was just like a feeling of freedom, jumping out.”

Thompson, 22, certainly gave her pro-am partners a memorable experience on Wednesday with her surprise landing. The jump kickstarted Thompson’s new charitable partnership with the SEAL Legacy Foundation, called the “Lexi Legacy Challenge.” The organization provides support to families of wounded and fallen U.S. Navy SEALs.

Thompson’s challenge continues through Veterans Day, during which time she will wear a commemorative pin during tournament play. Those who donate $25 or more will receive the same pin. Thompson will also wear camouflage blue on Sundays.

Thompson and her SEAL tandem partner were joined by three other Navy SEALs and a Red Bull sky diver who filmed the action. 

The top-ranked American on tour, Thompson has yet to win in 2017 but generated the most media attention after an unfortunate four-stroke penalty on Sunday of the ANA Inspiration derailed her chances of a second major title. She ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

Thompson ranks second on tour in driving distance (276 yards) and second in greens in regulation (79.49 percent). She leads in sand saves (76.47 percent) and ranks fourth in scoring average at 69.35.

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