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Lexi Thompson’s blunder causes nearly 40 players to miss practice at Women’s British Open

July 29, 2019

The LPGA Tour’s major season finale plays out in back-to-back weeks, with last week’s Evian Championship in France followed by this week’s Women’s British Open in England. Unfortunately, on Monday afternoon, nearly 40 players were still waiting for their clubs — a delay caused not by an airline’s mismanagement, but by a top-tier player: Lexi Thompson.

According to a report by Golf Channel’s Randell Mell, Ian Wright (who caddied for Seve Ballesteros) was transporting what he estimated to be 38 players’ bags from the Evian to England’s Woburn Golf Club. After leaving Evian on Sunday evening, he had been driving for about two hours when he received a call.

“[Lexi Thompson] left her passport in one of the golf bags that were on the truck I was driving here,” Wright told Mell. “I had to stop and wait for her caddie to come and retrieve it.”

Wright’s rental truck was packed to capacity with the clubs of players including Ariya Jutanugarn, Nelly Korda, Carlota Ciganda, Anna Nordqvist and Ryann O’Toole. By the time Wright sorted through his cargo and found Thompson’s bag, retrieved her passport, handed it off to her caddie (who arrived in a taxi to race it back to Thompson), repacked the truck and got back on the road, his journey north was delayed by about three hours.

Unfortunately, those three hours were costly. Wright missed his originally scheduled ferry and had to suffer through  Monday morning traffic he hadn’t accounted for.

All told, Wright’s club delivery arrived approximately six hours later than expected, and those players who were hoping to play a practice round on Monday morning were out of luck.

Thompson was not available for comment, but her agent, Bobby Kreusler, spoke to Mell. “Forgetting her passport, that was an honest mistake,” he said. “And she had no idea retrieving it would cause the delay it did, or that it would impact other players the way it did. She would never have wanted that.”

Ryann O’Toole, who had issues with an airline losing her clubs last week, saw things differently.

“I don’t know why the driver would agree to accommodate one person knowing it would punish about a third of the field,” O’Toole told Mell. “The driver should have said, ‘Hey, I’ve got to get these clubs to Woburn. If you want the passport, somebody’s going to have to fly there to get it and bring it back.’”

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