LAS VEGAS (AP) — LGPA Tour trailblazer Lexi Thompson will compete against men at the PGA Tour’s upcoming event in Las Vegas.
The Shriners Children’s Open announced Wednesday that Thompson received an unrestricted exemption into its tournament that begins Oct. 12 at TPC Summerlin. She will compete with 131 men for a $8.4 million purse.
Thompson will become the seventh woman to compete in a PGA Tour event and the first since Brittany Lincicome did so at the 2018 Barbasol Championship. Babe Didrikson Zaharias became the first woman to receive a sponsor exemption at The Cascades Open in 1935.
“I’m hopeful that my ability to play with the men next week at the Shriners Children’s Open sends a great message to the young women that you can chase your dream regardless of how hard it is,” Thompson said in a statement. “I cannot wait to come to the city of Las Vegas, and I’m grateful to Shriners Children’s for this opportunity to spend the week alongside these inspirational kids.”
Thompson, 28, has 11 victories on the LPGA Tour after beginning her professional career at age 15. She was the youngest player ever to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open when she made it to her first major in 2007 at age 12.
“Shriners Children’s mission is to help all children live their best life regardless of what medical challenges lay in front of them,” said Patrick Lindsey, executive director of the Shriners Children’s Open. “We are eager to have Lexi on the course and continue to break through barriers, just as our more than 1.5 million patients do every day.”
Thompson hasn’t won on the LPGA Tour since June 2019. She’s ranked No. 114 in the Race to the CME Globe. Only the top 60 make it to the CME Group Tour Championship. The top 80 have a full card for the following season. The top 100 still have cards and get in most tournaments.
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