Lexi Thompson Earns First Victory As LPGA Member At Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

By Brandon Raper
Brad Penner – USA TODAY Sports

Two years ago, Lexi Thompson won the Navistar LPGA Classic. A professional since she was 15, Thompson had been fighting to become a member of the top women’s Tour, and following that victory, she was finally granted a waiver of the age restriction to earn her Tour card.

Since then, Thompson has been consistently improving her game, including four top-ten finishes in 2012, but she was winless as a full-fledged member of the LPGA Tour. After Sunday, though, she’ll add another championship to her resume.

Thompson, who earned a spot on her first career Solheim Cup team earlier this year, not only won her first tournament in two years, but did it in style. Thompson carded all four rounds in the 60s, highlighted by a second-round 63.

Her aggregate score of 19-under-par set the tournament record, blowing away the previous mark of 15-under. That number had been set by Na Yeon Choi in 2011, and matched by Inbee Park in 2012.

“Words can’t even describe the feeling I have right now,” Thompson said after wrapping up the title. “It’s sort of like a rerun from Navistar, just having that feeling walking up to the 18th green, embracing the fans and just knowing you have the win under your belt.

“It’s very big, I have worked so hard between this whole last year since Navistar, it pays off and means so much to me.”

It certainly does pay off, in several ways. This victory marks a major milestone for Thompson in her young career, as she now sits seventh on the money list. While players like Park, Stacy Lewis and Suzann Pettersen are established at the top of the ladies’ game, Thompson, at just 18 years of age, has been working toward this goal her whole life. This victory could be a major stepping stone towards that top echelon.

Brandon Raper is a golf writer for RantSports.com. “Like” him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Brandon__Raper, and add him to your Google+ network.

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