Golf Digest WomanSeptember 18, 2011

Even with historic win, Thompson must wait on tour card

A decade after a tall, young talent was anointed as the home-grown superstar needed for the LPGA to solidify its American fan base, that promise might finally be fulfilled. Not by Michelle Wie -- the one-time 12-year-old darling who is now closing in on 22 -- but rather by 16-year-old Lexi Thompson, who on Sunday at the Navistar Classic in Prattville, Ala., became the youngest winner in the history of the 61-year-old tour. Still, Lexi is on the outside looking in.

Thompson, who does not meet the 18-year age limit to be an LPGA member and still won't be granted membership despite her victory, overpowered the field with 280-yard tee shots and finished 17-under-par 271, five strokes clear of Tiffany Joh, despite lugging the excess baggage of history around RTJ Golf Trail. Wie, meanwhile, a two-time winner on the LPGA, finished 24 strokes behind Thompson.

*At 16,Thompson becomes the youngest winner of a multi-round LPGA event. Photo by Getty Images

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"Coming up the 18th, all the pressure was let off," Thompson said after being doused with water rather than champagne following her win. "I knew I could have the record, but I just focused on playing the golf course. I was a little nervous, but if you are not nervous you don't care."

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