GULLANE, Scotland (AP) — The LPGA Tour has its fourth major of the year this week at the Amundi Evian Championship, and Lexi Thompson won’t be there.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise because Thompson, who was critical of the Evian Resort in 2019 when she missed the cut, hasn’t been back since then.

She said at the U.S. Women’s Open this will be her last year playing a full schedule, although she hasn’t made clear what that means. She has had three top-10 finishes since then.

It’s an odd decision to skip a major, though Thompson certainly isn’t the first player to do that, nor the most high-profile player.

Annika Sorenstam was 28 and already a two-time U.S. Women’s Open champion when she skipped the du Maurier Classic in 1999, citing fatigue after taking appearance money from two overseas events.

And then there was Kenny Perry, who at age 47 was No. 20 in the world in 2008 and having his best season. He was coming off wins at the Memorial and Buick Open when he chose to skip the British Open at Royal Birkdale, instead playing the Greater Milwaukee Open held the same week. By then, he already had locked up a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

“I committed to all these tournaments when I was ranked 100th in the world,” Perry said at the time. “And now, all of a sudden, I’ve won twice. I’m not going to back out on them.”

Thompson recently lost in a playoff to Lilia Vu at the Meijer LPGA Classic, and she was in the hunt at the Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee until a 43 on the front nine Sunday.

Thompson missed the cut at Evian in 2019 and wrote on Instagram: “I’m actually thankful that I don’t have to put myself through that for another two days. You’re a beautiful place Evian but that’s just too many bad breaks with good shots for me, so bye.”

Golfweek reported that Thompson removed the post later in the day to clear up any confusion. She said in a new post that her words were directed at her frustration of not playing well in a major and the unlucky bounces players get in golf.

Either way, she hasn’t been back since then.

And whatever her schedule looks like next year, odds are it won’t include Evian.

Royal Troon newcomer and veteran

Ernie Els and Lucas Glover are on opposite ends when it comes to experience at Royal Troon for the British Open.

Glover will see the Ayrshire links for the first time next week. It is the only links on the modern rotation he has never played.

“Tommy Lamb (his caddie) has been there for three Opens and he was chatting with me about it,” Glover said. “He mentioned I might need a driving iron.”

Glover played his first British Open in 2006 at Hoylake and his first nine appearances in golf’s oldest championship were on different courses — Carnoustie, Royal Birkdale, Turnberry, St. Andrews, Royal St. George’s, Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Muirfield and Royal Portrush. And then he repeated at Royal St. George’s in 2021.

Els, meanwhile, will be the only player making his fifth appearance at Royal Troon. He first qualified as a 19-year-old amateur in 1989, the year Mark Calcavecchia won. The field included Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino.

Els missed the cut that year. He tied for 10th in 1997 and famously lost in a playoff in 2004 to Todd Hamilton, the year Els had a chance to win all four majors and didn’t claim any of them. He also missed the cut in 2016.

This will be the last one at Royal Troon for Els. He is 54 and will be older than 60 the next time the Open returns.

Timely switch

Among the many people on his support team Davis Thompson thanked when he won the John Deere Classic was Craig Allen, the golf performance director at Sea Island.

“He helped me getting my iron specs and the right golf ball dialed in,” Thompson said. “Thankfully, we found a combination that worked.”

There’s a little more to that story.

Thompson was in need of more spin and he was working at Sea Island on the Friday of the Masters when he tested some Titleist MB irons. Something clicked, and Allen called over to the Titleist folks who were about four hours away from pulling the truck out of Augusta National.

All the components were in the truck to make Thompson a set. They were handed off to Thompson’s agent, who drove back to Sea Island. That all took about six hours.

The next week, Thompson tied for 18th in the Dominican Republic. Three weeks later, he was runner-up in Myrtle Beach. And then when he qualified for the U.S. Open, he really took off with a tie for ninth at Pinehurst No. 2, a runner-up at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and his first tour victory at the John Deere.

He was No. 120 in the world when he made the switch and now is No. 38. More telling is that Thompson is 13th on the PGA Tour in the statistical category that measures tee-to-green.

Seve’s apparel

The Seve Ballesteros Foundation is launching a golf apparel collection called “SEVE,” which coincides with the late Spaniard’s 40-year anniversary of winning the British Open at St. Andrews.

The brand aims to inspire golfers to be “more daring and charismatic” on and off the golf course.

It will become available online and through various European retailers on July 22. The first collection is made in cotton, cashmere and four-way stretch technical fabrics and includes pants, shorts, golf shirts, sweaters, caps and visors.

“Our father was not only one of the greatest golfers of all time, but renowned for his unparalleled fashion sense,” his children said in a statement.

The initial launch also will feature a limited edition Slazenger cashmere sweater inspired by his outfit when he won in 1984.


TMRW Sports, the sports, media and entertainment group started by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, has a partnership with the International Golf Federation that is geared toward using technology to increase participation in golf. TMRW Sports is behind TGL, the indoor golf league that starts in January. … Davis Thompson and Xander Schauffele are the only players this year to win a week after they were runner-up. … There have been four scores of 59 in the first round of a PGA Tour event. The two players who didn’t go on to win were Paul Goydos and Hayden Springer, both at the John Deere Classic. … There have been nine first-time winners on the PGA Tour this year. … Nelly Korda and Lilia Vu already have clinched spots on the U.S. team for the Solheim Cup this year.

Stat of the week

The John Deere Classic has produced 24 first-time winners since 1970, the most of any PGA Tour event.

Final word

“It is fantastic that you can go from Davenport, Iowa, right into Edinburgh, Scotland. I didn’t see that pop up on any of the airlines.” — Jordan Spieth on the charter flight from the John Deere Classic to the Scottish Open.


AP golf: