Thompson prepares to defend title in Dubai, where she made history in 2011

Lexi Thompson at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters
Getty Images
Lexi Thompson, though winless this season, is enjoying the perks of her celebrity.
Associated Press

Series: Other Tour

Published: Monday, December 03, 2012 | 5:39 p.m.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Last year, it was a chat with the stars from the "Twilight" franchise. This year, it's a meeting with Tiger Woods and a role in his popular golf video game.

Life keeps getting more surreal for American teenager Lexi Thompson, who is in the United Arab Emirates to defend her title at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, the season-ending event on the Ladies European Tour, which will be played Wednesday through Sunday.


Founded in 2006, the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters is the first full-field Ladies European Tour event to be played in the Middle East.

She won the tournament in 2011 at age 16 to become the youngest winner on the LPGA Tour and European Tour. She then lost her LPGA Tour record to Lydia Ko, a 15-year-old amateur from New Zealand who won the Canadian Women's Open in August.

Along with Thompson, the field includes Michelle Wie, Wegmans LPGA Championship winner Shanshan Feng as well as most of Europe's top female stars.

Thompson hasn't won a tournament this year, but with four top-five finishes on the LPGA Tour, her star keeps rising. With that come the perks of celebrity. She got to meet the 14-time major winner Woods this summer at the Notah Begay Challenge in August.

"It was amazing, just meeting a role model. I've always looked up to him so it was great to meet him and talk to him," Thompson said. "And he said I'll play golf with you any time, and that means a lot coming from a person at that level."

Just as "amazing" was being invited to play a role in the video game, "Tiger Woods PGA 14." She grew up with the game and played Woods with her golf-playing brothers. Now Thompson looks forward to playing herself. It should be much like the real Thompson -- she strapped on sensors on her body, head and shoes to ensure the game was as realistic as possible.

"It's an honor to be in the video game," Thompson said. "I've seen some of the pictures of my animation and it looks so real. ... It will be interesting to play me in the video game. It will be pretty weird but it will be awesome."