From golf’s elevation to the Olympic Games in 2000, the number of women playing the game increased by over 1,000 percent. The last two years saw the men claiming 24 PGA Tour events, while the women won only three. The greatest achievement of the women’s professional golf season so far, the Women’s British Open, took place at Carnoustie yesterday and saw Lexi Thompson earn the biggest victory of her career.
“This is one of the most unbelievable feelings I’ve ever had,” Thompson said.
Thompson’s victory feels unique in that it was built on her superior athleticism — she’s remarkably athletic for someone of her age — and by her ability to adapt her play to circumstances. She came into the game at just 15 and has grown up a soccer fan. But when she arrived in Scotland, the strength of her game enabled her to compete in an event where golf’s men’s top players had only played the course one day earlier. She commented: “Last year I missed the cut, which I was really disappointed about because I still felt I could have contended in the tournament and I missed it. So this year for me to come back and prove to myself and prove to the world that I can do it, it’s a great feeling.”
People are already talking about how she shows a potential for future contention in other events.
In 20 years, we’ll look back on this moment and think it was a giant leap forward for golf.