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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Carol Semple Thompson withdraws from

Jones/Doherty after mother's death

By Randall Mell South Florida Sun-Sentinel
FORT LAUDERDALE - Coral Springs' Alexis Thompson holds a special appreciation for how golf's future and past uniquely intersect on the Orange Blossom Tour.Thompson, 13, shot an even-par 74 in Monday's qualifying round of the Ione D. Jones/Doherty Women's Amateur at Coral Ridge Country Club.
That was surpassed only by Oakland Park's Meghan Bolger, the two-time U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champ, who shot 73 to win medalist honors. Match play begins today.
Alexis Thompson is bidding to win back-to-back Orange Blossom Tour events after winning the South Atlantic Ladies Amateur at Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach in a 13-shot rout Saturday.Thompson, the reigning U.S. Girls' Junior Champion and the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open, will be among players missing World Golf Hall of Famer Carol Semple Thompson this week.
Carol, 60, the most decorated women's amateur in the history of the United States Golf Association, withdrew from the Doherty's senior competition after her mother's death Sunday in Delray Beach.
"She's a great player and person," said Alexis, who is no relation. "It was an honor to get to play with her in the first three rounds last week [at the South Atlantic Ladies]. I didn't realize how much she has accomplished until they introduced her on the first tee. They just kept reading, and reading and reading. I was like, 'Oh my God.'"Thompson, 60, of Sewickley, Pa., is the winner of seven USGA championships, more than any other woman. Her titles include a U.S. Women's Amateur, two U.S. Women's Mid-Amateurs and four U.S. Senior Women's Amateurs.Thompson's mother, Phyllis, 87, was a long-time amateur who once advanced to the U.S. Women's quarterfinals and served on the USGA Women's Committee and USGA Museum Library Committee.
"My mom was my best friend and one of the most competitive people I've ever known," Thompson said in a telephone interview. "She pushed me and was a great part of my success as a player."
Thompson's father, past USGA president Harton "Bud" Thompson, died in 1990.