The Women’s British Open, the final major of the LPGA season, got off to a poor start when Lexi Thompson’s lost passport resulted in 40 players missing practice. She’s now apologizing profusely for the miscue, though she told reporters Wednesday she believes any player would have done the same.
Thompson apologizes for lost passport fiasco
Thompson realized after the Evian Championship in France on Sunday that she forgot her passport in her golf bag. Usually she keeps the document there rather than in an overseas hotel room and travels with her bag through airports, she told reporters at the tournament press conference Wednesday. But this time she used the carrier service since players were warned luggage handlers at Heathrow airport in England may be on strike, per Golfweek.
That bag was en route to the Woburn Golf Club in England via a rental van full of 40 players’ bags. Her father, Scott, got in touch with the van’s driver, who stopped and waited for Thompson’s caddie to meet him.
The trek was 28 miles, not to mention the time it took to unload and re-load bags, and the driver missed the ferry, got stuck in rush hour traffic and arrived at the course too late for practice rounds.
Fellow players were not pleased with the ordeal. Via Golfweek:
“I haven’t talked to many players about it,” said Thompson. “They haven’t come up to me. I can kind of feel it. But I didn’t mean anything by it, and I think everybody that knows me as a person … I didn’t know that was going to happen. I didn’t mean anything by it. But it happened, and I’m very sorry.”
She said she didn’t know it would case such a delay, and that knowledge may have swayed her decision, but based on what she knew she would do it again.
“I think if any other player was in the situation and the reaction time that we had and that he was close to my caddie, I think any player probably would have done it. Like I said, I’m sorry that this had happened, but that’s all I can say.”
Thompson missed the cut in France and posted on Instagram criticizing the course. She later deleted it. The Women’s British Open begins Thursday.
Back-to-back majors create time constraints
Thompson’s lost passport story didn’t create the only travel issues of the weekend for LPGA players. And she wasn’t the only reason many missed Monday’s practice round. Putting two majors in two weeks created a slew of snafus.
A two-hour delay in tee time for the final round on Sunday forced some players to miss flights and re-book others. Two British Airways flights were canceled from Geneva to London on Sunday, per espnW, forcing other arrangements. And some players nearly missed flights due to connection time.
Bronte Law had her Monday flight canceled, nearly missed a connection and didn’t think her clubs would make it to Woburn Golf Club for the tournament, she told espnW.
Some athletes took it as a sign they should take a day of rest in a tight two week schedule.
Jin Young Ko also arrived late and missed practice. The No. 1 ranked Ko is going for her third major this year — she won the ANA Inspiration in April and the Evian Championship in France over the weekend — and told espnW she’ll be “riding the wave” of good play inside the jam-packed schedule.
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