related stories
Michelle Wie looking to end 'work in progress' year with a bang in DubaiUS teen sensation Thompson made to work for LPGA membership
score centre
European TourPGA TourLPGA TourChampions Tour

How times change? Just another ambitious and talented teenager when she teed up at last year’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Alexis Thompson returns in 2011 as a history-maker.

Earlier this year, the 16-year-old Thompson became the youngest ever winner on the LPGA Tour when she triumphed by five shots at the Navistar LPGA Classic. That win put to shade the earlier achievements of Marlene Hagge and Paula Creamer.

Hagge was 18 years and 14 days when she won the 1952 Sarasota Open, an 18-hole event, while Creamer was 18 years, nine months and 17 days when she won the 72-hole Sybase Classic in 2005.

Thompson has been so impressive that the LPGA Tour gave special consideration to her case and made her a full member ahead of the 18-year age rule.

The teenager, who blushes on being compared with Rory McIlroy, is now used to the idea of being someone who changed the history book. “You know, I definitely look back at it and say like, ‘wow, I really did that’. But you know, in between tournaments I just love hanging out with friends. Besides the fact that I made history, I’m a normal teenager.

“My friends don’t treat me any differently. They’re still the same around me. I wouldn’t want them to treat me any different. That’s what true friends do – they stay the same throughout your life. I love what I do, and I’ve worked so hard for it.” 

Having already won once, Thompson says it will be easier to win again if she is in the same position, and this week in Dubai would be a good place to start. Thompson, who finished tied 22nd last year, said: “Winning definitely gave me a lot more confidence, so I now go into every event knowing I can win.

“I know it’s not going to happen every time, so you just need to take it shot by shot and hope it goes well. But I had an amazing time last year, and I have been looking forward to this tournament for a while.”