The Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas will be a particularly special occasion this year thanks to an appearance from LPGA Tour player Lexi Thompson following a sponsor invitation.
Thompson will compete alongside the men in the PGA Tour event, making her only the fifth female player in the modern era - and seventh in total - to do so.
Thompson, who won a Major in 2014, the Kraft Nabisco Championship (now the Chevron Championship), remains one of the biggest names in the women’s game. She said in a statement: "I'm hopeful that my ability to play with the men next week at the Shriners Children's Open sends a great message to the young women that you can chase your dream regardless of how hard it is. I'm grateful to Shriners Children's for this opportunity to spend the week alongside these inspirational kids.”
Executive director of the Shriners Children's Open Patrick Lindsey said: "We are thrilled to welcome Lexi to the 2023 tournament. We are eager to have Lexi on the course and continue to break through barriers."
When she tees it up at TPC Summerlin, Thompson will become first female golfer to compete on the PGA Tour since Brittany Lincicome played in the Barbasol Championship five years ago.
The first woman to play on the Tour was Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who competed in the Cascades Open in 1935. Then, in 1952, one of the LPGA Tour's founders, Shirley Spork, played in the Northern California-Reno Open.
After a gap of almost half a century, Annika Sorenstam then participated in the 2003 Bank of America Colonial, with Suzy Whaley's appearance in the Greater Hartford Open coming later that year. It was then another five years before Michelle Wie-West played in the 2008 Legends Reno-Tahoe Open.
Thompson has forged a hugely impressive career. As well as her Major win nine years ago, she became the youngest ever qualifier for the US Women’s Open aged 12 in 2007. After turning pro in 2010, she has since gone on to claim 11 victories on the LPGA Tour and competed for Team USA in the recent Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin. This week, she plays in the Volunteers of America Classic on the LPGA Tour.
The Shriners Children's Open will be the third of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Fall schedule, and was won last year by Tom Kim.
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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