Broward News

Local Golfing Phenom Recruits a Rival

Larry Bird had Magic Johnson. Muhammad Ali had Joe Frazier. Roger Federer has Rafael Nadal. To make Coral Springs' Alexis Thompson a national sports icon, she'll need a nemesis, and she may have found one in Alison Lee. They're both 14-year-old golfers, and this past weekend's slug-out at the U.S. Women's Open may mark a budding rivalry.

After Thursday's first round, Thompson was in sixth place at even par, then shot two over Friday to make her first Women's Open cut, entering Saturday's competition as the most exciting prospect for victory. But after she bogeyed three straight holes early on that day, she faded from contention. On Sunday, Lee stole Thompson's thunder with a dazzling 70, moving right past her on the leaderboard.

Lee, from Valencia, California, finished nine over par, in a tie for 26th place. Thompson shot 11 over, good for 34th place. But Thompson remains the top-ranked girl in junior golf. Lee is ninth.

The two meet again next week at the U.S. Girls Junior Championships at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey. Thompson won the tournament last year, and judging by the tournament's website, she's the favorite to win again.

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Thomas Francis