There are certain no-brainers in golf. Jack Nicklaus with a meaningful putt at Augusta National. Phil Mickelson always taking the riskier of the two shots. And then there was this, the LPGA's decision on what to do with 16-year-old Lexi Thompson.
Two weeks ago, Thompson became the youngest winner in the history of the LPGA, taking home the Navistar Classic by five shots. It might have been a shock to some, but if you follow the sport closely, you knew she had this in her. Sometimes, age is simply a number, and certain athletes have that ability to mature quicker, learn the game faster, and succeed sooner. Tiger Woods did it. Matteo Manassero has been killing it at a ridiculously young age on the European Tour, and Michelle Wie played some of her best golf when she was just a teen.
The problem was, Thompson was too young to be a full-time member of the LPGA. As they say, those were the rules, but on Friday, commissioner Mike Whan made the right decision to allow Thompson an exemption, making her a full fledged LPGAer next season.
It was a tap-in, if you don't mind my golf lingo for a minute. The murmuring that we've heard from some of the LPGA players that weren't exactly pumped about the idea of letting every teenager into their exclusive club made sense, but Lexi is different. First, she's already a winner, but this is also a girl that finished in top-10 at the Women's U.S. Open at 15, and has continued to play great golf this season. Sure, allowing everyone this opportunity might get a little out of hand, but Lexi is special and has proved that she belongs out there with the rest of them, no matter how young she is.
The LPGA needs every boost they can get. The Solheim Cup was a big one, and it sure doesn't hurt that for the second straight week that tour can bring the sports world good news.
Sure, Thompson would have breezed through Q-School if the petition didn't go through, but didn't she earn this? She's special, and the tour needs her. This was as no-brainer as they come.