Teen sensation Alexis Thompson makes history in Dubai

Updated: 17 December 2011 19:45 IST

American teen Alexis Thompson was simply sensational on the back nine in Saturday's final round as she won the Dubai Ladies Masters by four shots to become the youngest professional winner on the Ladies European Tour.

Teen sensation Alexis Thompson makes history in Dubai

Dubai:

American teen Alexis Thompson was simply sensational on the back nine in Saturday's final round as she won the Dubai Ladies Masters by four shots to become the youngest professional winner on the Ladies European Tour.


At the par-72 Majlis Course of Emirates Golf Club, the 16-year-old made five birdies in her last 10 holes to close with a five-under par round of 67 and a tournament total of 15-under par 273.

South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace, winner of the Ladies European Tour Money List last year, finished second at 11-under par 277.

Sweden's Sophie Gustafson parred every hole before making a birdie on the 18th hole to break out of a four-way tie at nine-under par and take sole third place at 10-under par 278.

Thompson, who created history earlier this year by becoming the youngest ever player to win on the LPGA Tour, broke the record of South African Ashleigh Simon, who won the 2008 Catalonia Ladies Masters at the age of 18 years and 37 days.

But she is still not the youngest winner on the Ladies European Tour - that honour belongs to South Korean Amy Yang, who won the ANZ Ladies Masters in New Zealand in 2006 aged 16 years and 192 days as an amateur.

"This is really exciting and I am very happy," said the Coral Springs-based star.

"I was hoping to get to 15-under par for the tournament by the end of the day, and I managed to do exactly that."

Thompson started the day two ahead of Pace and one ahead of Gustafson, but despite making birdies on the second and third holes, she was soon caught up by Pace, who made a birdie and an eagle on those very holes.

The overnight advantage was completely lost when the South African made another birdie on the sixth hole.

The turning point came on the difficult par-4 ninth hole, when Thompson chipped in for a birdie, while Pace missed her birdie putt from 10 feet after a spectacular approach shot over water.

Once ahead, Thompson never let go and further birdies on the 10th, 13th, 14th and 18th were enough to make a three-putt bogey on the 17th hole meaningless in the final context.

"Even when Lee-Anne made those birdies and eagle, I was not too bothered because I was playing well myself. I knew I could make birdies coming in and stay in contention," said Thompson, who is expected to get into the top-50 of the women's world ranking after the win.

"But I never thought it was over till I had the five-shot lead with four holes to play."

The tournament's biggest drawcard, American World No. 17 Michelle Wie, closed with successive birdies but that was only good enough for an even-par 72 and a tied 12th place at five-under 283.



Topics : Golf
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