Hey Lexi, how that’s AARP subscription working out for you? Are the early-bird dinners tasty? Got enough Advil in the bag?
Lexi Thompson is old. She’s 27, after all. Born nearly a decade before Twitter! Imagine that. Lucy Li can’t. Li is 19 and was 11 when she played a practice round with Thompson before the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst. Li must have thought Lexi was ancient back then.
On Saturday, after Li shot a four-under-par 67 to get to 14 under and hold a one-shot lead over Thompson and Caroline Masson heading into the final round of the Dana Open in Sylvania, Ohio, she was asked if she knew Thompson very well.
“Not really,” Li said. “I haven’t spent that much time on the LPGA, so I haven’t really gotten to know her that well. She’s a lot … quite a bit older than me.”
Of course, there was no intent at shade on Li’s part. She was just answering a question. But it does emphasize what a young phenom Li is. She earned her LPGA Tour card for next season with two wins on this year’s Epson Tour and is now gunning for her first LPGA title before her rookie campaign begins.
And on Sunday, she will be in the final group with Thompson, whom Li says she has admired but not idolized. “I didn’t really try to emulate her because we’re so different,” Li said, noting, for one, the vast difference in their height. Thompson is 6 feet tall, and Li is 5-2.
In one aspect they can certainly relate. Thompson also was a star at an early age. When Li became the Women’s Open’s youngest-ever competitor in ’14 at 11, it was Thompson’s record she eclipsed. Lexi was 12 when she qualified for the 2007 Women’s Open.
“Definitely someone that kind of went through the same things as me, so it’s definitely cool to see,” Li said on Saturday.
Thompson made a charge in the Dana Open’s third round by shooting 65 and is seeking her first LPGA win in more than three years. Of Li’s ability to contend so quickly, she said, “Just speaks wonders to the amount of work that she’s put into her game, just the amount of talent she has.
“So, I’m really looking forward to playing with her tomorrow, and hopefully just be a lot of birdies to be made.”