Grant Thornton Invitational

Lexi Thompson makes an ace for Rickie Fowler and Team Pink

December 09, 2023

Lexi Thompson gets a high five from Joel Dahman after making an ace in the second round of the Grant Thornton Invitational.

Douglas P. DeFelice

Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson were Team Pink on Saturday in the second round of the mixed-team Grant Thornton Invitational in Naples, Fla. Looking like characters in “Barbie,” they sported pink shirts, white pants and skirt, white hat and visor, and white shoes. They were in synch for the format for the day—alternate shot. It was far more of a challenge than the scramble play of the first day, when the top duo shot a stunning 16 under.

And it happened that Thompson was designated to hit the tee shot on the par-3 16th at Tiburon Golf Club. She said afterward that she chose a 7-iron from 158 yards to hit it about 160, and that call was dead on as the ball took a soft one hop before diving into the cup.

Thompson looked a bit surprised, and then happily traded hand slaps with everybody on the tee box, including Fowler, the caddies and the other twosome in the group, Joel Dahmen and Lilia Vu.

"It was definitely an amazing experience," Thompson said. "... It was exciting for me to do it alongside Rickie and our other pairing of Lilia and Joel. So a lot of fun the whole day."

This was no ceremonial ace, either. It capped a six-hole run in which Team Pink shot five under by going birdie-birdie-birdie-bogey-birdie-ace. Despite bogeys on two par 5s, they shot four-under 68 for the round and were tied for fourth at 16 under, four shots back of leaders Lydia Ko and Jason Day, who shot 66.