Thompson's debut shortened by rain

Jun 29, 2007 - 1:04 AM SOUTHERN PINES, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Alexis Thompson, who at 12 years old is the youngest player ever to tee up in the U.S. Women's Open, played only nine holes Thursday after a storm forced an overnight suspension at Pine Needles.

It was almost past her bedtime before the youngster came off the course in the evening gloom at almost 9 p.m. EDT. But she should be pleased with her score of 3-over-par at the turn.

Starting on the more difficult back nine, Thompson played just one hole before the storms hit, bogeying the par-5 10th hole, where she missed the green and then hit a wedge shot to eight feet but failed to make the putt.

Thompson dropped more shots at the hard par-4s by missing the greens at the 12th and 13th but made it an afternoon to remember with a birdie at the long 15th, where she struck a 115-yard wedge shot and holed the 30-foot putt.

As night fell, she three-putted No. 18 from 25 feet. The second effort was from four feet.

Thompson was all smiles as she happily signed autographs for a growing flock of fans before heading for home and a good night's sleep before starting her second nine at 7:30 a.m. on Friday.

"I was very nervous on the first tee," the Florida qualifier admitted. "But after that, it was a smooth swing. I'm proud of the way I played today, and now I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."

Thompson's goal is to make the cut and become the first 12-year-old to complete all four rounds of a major.

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