Thompson Granted Membership in LPGA

LPGA commissioner Michael Whan approved Lexi Thompson's petition to waive the Tour's 18-year-old age requirement, thus granting membership to the 16-year-old from Coral Gables, Fla. She will become the Tour's youngest member January 2012.

Thompson got Whan's and the golf world's attention two weeks ago when she won the LPGA Tour's Navistar Classic in Alabama by five strokes. Yet her membership was granted Friday not so much for her play and potential star power as for her comportment off the course.

"I've seen her at press conferences," Whan said. "I've seen her when she played well, I've seen her when she hasn't played too well. I've seen her at pro-am parties. I've seen her when fans are coming up to her when it's maybe not the best time."

On Thursday Thompson formally petitioned the LPGA to waive its long-standing policy that members be at least 18.

She was on vacation in California when she learned about being accepted as a regular member of the 2012 LPGA Tour. "It's been amazing," Thompson said. "It's always been my dream to play on the Tour full-time.

"Getting that win, it was the best experience of my life. I've enjoyed every minute of it. I've been waiting for this moment, knowing I'm going to play full time next year."

Her agent at Blue Giraffe Sports, Bobby Kreusler, expects Thompson to play about 20 tournaments in 2012, including some overseas' events. "We have the luxury of planning a year ahead," Kreusler said.