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Alexis Thompson to Turn Pro
Alexis Thompson, the heralded 15-year-old amateur sensation, says she'll turn professional after the 2010 Curtis Cup matches, which will be played June 10-13 at Essex County Club in Manchester, Mass.
At the conclusion of the team competition between top amateur players from the U.S. and Europe, Thompson will travel to southern New Jersey for her professional debut June 14-20 at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. The event will be held at the Bay Course at Seaview in Galloway Township.
Thompson will be seven months younger than Michelle Wie was when she turned professional in 2005.
In 2007 as a 12-year-old, Thompson became the youngest player to ever qualify for the U.S. Women's Open. She repeated that feat again in both 2008 and '09. In 2009, Thompson was named by Golfweek as the magazine's Women's Amateur Player of the Year and Junior Girls Player of the Year.
Lorena Ochoa, who turned pro after only two years of college and retired this year after a three-year reign at the women's game's No. 1-ranked player, discussed the LPGA Tour's movement toward younger players.
"My advice for the young players, my advice to all of them would be make sure you finish your junior career and go to college and then become professional after that," she said. "The LPGA is going to be there forever. There is no rush. In that case, you live your life and live more normal, I guess you can say. Then you get a degree and mature inside and outside the golf course, and then jump to the LPGA. In that case, you are prepared for life, you are 22, and then you can play golf for the rest of your life, for 10 or 15 years.
"I guess I'm afraid when the young players are 17 and 18 and they're talking about playing professional golf," the Mexican star added. "You know, maybe qualify your players so they find a balance in their life and they don't want to play too young. So I say stay in college, go to college. Figure out what you want to do 100 percent so by the time you play three or four years you don't burn out."
Asked what advice she had for Thompson, Wie, competing this week in the Bell Micro LPGA Classic in Mobile, Ala., told New York Times reporter Karen Crouse: "You know I don't really know her personally that well. I've seen her play and she plays great. So, you know, if she's happy with the decision that she made, then I'm happy as well, too. I only wish her the best."