BELLEAIR, Florida – Lexi Thompson only knew she’d made an ace in the opening round of the Pelican Women’s Championship when a man behind the green threw his hands up. With limited galleries—club members are allowed to bring four guests—even the best of shots elicit quiet reactions these days.
“Even though there was only about 10 people that saw it,” said Thompson, who opened with an even-par 70 at Pelican Golf Club and trails clubhouse leader Sei Young Kim by three. “Still a good feeling for me.”
Thompson struck a 9-iron from 162 yards on the par-3 third. The ball hopped twice before striking the flagstick and diving into the hole. Thompson high-fived her brother Curtis, who is on the bag this week. Both her parents were in the gallery. (Players are allowed two guests.)
PELICAN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP: Leaderboard
Thompson’s second ace in two years brings her total amount raised for St. Jude to $40,000. This marks her fifth career ace on tour.
A total of 10 aces have been recorded so far in 2020, resulting in $200,000 raised. For perspective, $1,000 helps cover about two-thirds of the cost of one day of chemotherapy.
“It means the world, I think to everybody out here,” said Thompson. “We’re not just athletes who play well in our sport, but we want give back. It’s such a great way and I think it’s a great idea what they’re doing.”