American Lexi Thompson has made history as the youngest winner on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tours.
The teen phenom was sensational on the back nine of Saturday’s final round as she won the Dubai Ladies Masters by four shots to become the youngest professional winner on that side of the Atlantic.
Thompson pulled away from Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa to shoot 5 under 67 for her second professional victory. In September, she became the youngest winner of an LPGA tournament at the Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama.
Thompson’s father Scott, who caddies for her, said he was most impressed how she handled the pressure when Pace made her run.
“She didn’t panic and kept playing her game, not worrying about what else anyone was doing,” he said.
Wie offered a congratulatory tweet and predicted she would be a force to reckon with in the future. The 22-year-old Wie praised the support Thompson gets not only from her father, but her entire entourage.
“I think she kind of has that mentality, just grip it and rip it,” said Wie, who also joined the LPGA Tour at 16 and has two wins. “She just goes out there and just kind of has fun, which is really nice to see. She’s a really talented player and I’m really impressed.”
Thompson is projected to move into the top 40 in the rankings. She credits her success with playing alongside her brothers, including PGA Tour member Nicholas.
The precocious Floridian qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open at age 12 in 2007 at Pine Needles, tied for 10th at the tournament last year and was a runner-up by one shot last year at the Evian Masters, one of the richest events on the LPGA Tour schedule.
Her breakout moment came in September when she won the Navistar LPGA Classic by five strokes and was granted LPGA membership two weeks later. Thompson created history by becoming the youngest ever player to win on the LPGA Tour, breaking the record of South African Ashleigh Simon, who won the 2008 Catalonia Ladies Masters at the age of 18 years and 37 days.
The always polite, easygoing Thompson said she was looking forward to spending some time with friends and steadily improving next season.