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16-year-old Lexi Thompson gets historic LPGA win

PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Juli Inkster thinks Lexi Thompson has proven she’s ready for LPGA Tour membership.

The 16-year-old Thompson showed that she measures up on the course with her five-stroke victory Sunday in the Navistar LPGA Classic, which made her the youngest LPGA tournament winner.

Because she’s not 18 yet, Thompson has two more stages of qualifying school to go through to become a member.

“She has kind of proven she can play out here,” said Inkster, who at 51 was the oldest player competing. “She’s proven she can handle the social part of it. I think they should give her full (membership).

“It’s kind of silly, isn’t it? I think it makes us (the LPGA) look bad, too. Now, you have to go to qualifying school? To me, that’s silly.”

LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan didn’t seem inclined to let her skip the rest of qualifying school.

“Should Lexi qualify for LPGA membership via her Q-School performance, she will be an LPGA member for the 2012 season,” Whan said in a statement.

The Floridian closed with a 2-under 70 Sunday to beat 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 and 14 days old when she won the single-round Sarasota Open in 1952.


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