news 6 days ago

Curtis Thompson proves he’s more than LPGA star Lexi Thompson’s older brother by winning the Evans Scholars Invitational at Chicago Highlands

Chicago Tribune — Teddy Greenstein Chicago Tribune

Sept. 13--As he lines up a putt, Curtis Thompson asks himself: Who are you?

Will he forever be known as the older brother of Lexi Thompson, the 14-time winner on the LPGA Tour? Or can he carve out his own identity after nearly quitting the game two years ago?

He tells himself: You are Curtis Thompson.

“I do it,” he said, “to amp myself up.”

The 27-year-old Thompson won his first professional event Sunday, making a birdie on the 18th hole to win the Korn Ferry Tour’s Evans Scholars Invitational at Chicago Highlands Club in Westchester.

Thompson finished at 17 under to beat Will Zalatoris and Jimmy Stanger by one. Illinois alumnus and Northbrook native Nick Hardy tied for 13th at 12 under.

“I’m elated,” Thompson said. “And tired.”

Thompson stepped to the tee at the 573-yard 18th knowing a birdie would complete a journey that saw him quit competitive golf two years ago to caddie for Lexi and members of Pine Tree Golf Club in Boynton Beach, Fla.

Thompson, one of the longest hitters on the Korn Ferry Tour with a 326.4-yard driving average, ripped his tee shot and delivered a 260-yard 2-iron to the back-right of the 18th green. He lagged his 45-foot putt perfectly, yielding a tap-in as onlookers applauded.

He took a congratulatory call from Lexi and plaudits from members at Chicago Highlands, a links-style private course in the western suburbs.

Thompson planned to celebrate in Chicago on Sunday with a couple of beers.

“But not too many,” he said. “I don’t like to fly hungover.”


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