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Floridian youngest to win on LPGA Tour

Lexi Thompson, 16, of Coral Springs is the youngest woman to win an LPGA event by two years.

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Lexi Thompson, 16, of Coral Springs is the youngest woman to win an LPGA event by two years.

PRATTVILLE, Ala. — Lexi Thompson was poised to become the youngest player to win an LPGA Tour event at a fresh-faced 16, sitting five strokes ahead of the field and one round from history.

So what was the dinner table topic the night before?

"Boys. Boys definitely came up," she said.

Hey, she's an LPGA winner. But she's still 16.

The Coral Springs resident closed with 2-under 70 Sunday to win the Navistar LPGA Classic, beating Tiffany Joh by five strokes to finish at 17-under 271.

Thompson shattered the age record for winning a multiple-round tournament held by Paula Creamer, who won in 2005 at 18. Marlene Hagge was 18 years, 14 days when she won the single-round Sarasota Open in 1952.

The victory brought a piece of history and $195,000.

"This has been my dream like my whole life," Thompson said. "It's the best feeling ever."

Thompson, who turned 16 in February, led by five strokes entering the final round and built that to seven through 10 at the Robert Trent Jones Trail's Capitol Hill complex.

"Paula Creamer came up to me and said, 'If anybody was going to change the record, it should have been you,' " Thompson said after her win. "That meant a lot."

Cool under pressure most of the day, Thompson and her father, also her caddie, couldn't contain broad smiles as they approached the 18th green with the win, and a spot in history, in hand. "It's just awesome watching your kid do something like this, but it is very nerve-racking, though," Scott Thompson said. "This is a very special day.

Now, the question is will she be granted tour membership? Thompson will have to petition for an exemption of the 18-year-old age requirement.

The LPGA already granted her petition for qualifying school, and she won the first stage by 10 strokes in July with two more to go.

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan didn't seem inclined to give her the equivalent of a qualifying school GED: "Should Lexi qualify for LPGA membership via her Q-School performance, she will be an LPGA member for the 2012 season," he said in a statement.

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome finished 5-under 213. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson finished 1 over.

PGA: Justin Rose chipped in for birdie on the 17th hole and hung on to win the BMW Championship in Lemont, Ill. Rose closed with par 71 and a two-shot victory to finish 13-under 271 and head to the Tour Championship with a shot at the $10 million FedEx Cup prize.

CHAMPIONS: Jay Don Blake beat fellow American John Cook on the fifth playoff hole at the Songdo IBD Championship in Incheon, South Korea, for his first tour victory. The pair both shot 68 in the final round to finish tied at 13-under 203 with Mark O'Meara and Peter Senior.

Floridian youngest to win on LPGA Tour 09/18/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 18, 2011 8:22pm]
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