Major champion Lexi Thompson will compete against men at the PGA Tour’s upcoming event in Las Vegas.
The Shriners Children’s Open announced on Wednesday that Thompson received an unrestricted exemption into the tournament, which begins on 12 October at TPC Summerlin. She will compete with 131 men for the $8.4m purse.
Thompson will become the seventh woman to compete in a PGA Tour event and the first since Brittany Lincicome did so at the 2018 Barbasol Championship. Babe Didrikson Zaharias became the first woman to receive a sponsor exemption at The Cascades Open in 1935.
“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,” Thompson said in a statement. “I cannot wait to come to the city of Las Vegas, and I’m grateful to Shriners Children’s for this opportunity to spend the week alongside these inspirational kids.”
The 28-year-old has 11 victories on the LPGA Tour after beginning her professional career at age 15. She was the youngest player ever to qualify for the US Women’s Open when she made it to her first major in 2007 at age 12. She won her first, and so far only, major at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship, a month after her 19th birthday.
“We are thrilled to welcome Lexi to the 2023 tournament,” said Patrick Lindsey, executive director of the Shriners Children’s Open. “We are eager to have Lexi on the course and continue to break through barriers.”
Thompson hasn’t won on the LPGA Tour since June 2019. She’s ranked No 114 in the Race to the CME Globe. Only the top 60 make it to the CME Group Tour Championship. The top 80 have a full card for the following season. The top 100 still have cards and get into most tournaments.