Lexi rides popularity into video game
Growing up with two older brothers, Lexi Thompson is no stranger to competition.
Whether it was for chores or money, Thompson and her brothers, Nicholas and Curtis, would put wagers on who could beat whom out on the golf course.
“It’s an intense match all the time when we’re all home playing,” Thompson said. “It was chores — picking weeds, taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher — now it’s more money.”
The competition didn’t end on the course, either. It would often move to the Xbox and a little game of Tiger Woods PGA Tour.
“I always tried to beat them on that, too, but I never was very good,” Thompson said.
Now she’ll get a shot at beating her brothers playing as herself.
Thompson, who finished at No. 21 on the LPGA money list this season and is one of the more popular players in women’s golf, will be featured in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR '14. It will be Thompson’s first time being included in the game.
“It means a lot to me to be in this video game,” said Thompson, who spent the day with EA Sports at their motion-capture facility Aug. 8 in Orlando, Fla., where she became just the second female golfer to be motion-captured for the game. (Paula Creamer is the other.)
“When they asked me, it was just a huge honor to be in a video game and to go through this experience was amazing. It was definitely an experience I’ll never forget.”
Thompson spent about three hours going through swings in the motion-capture get-up — a sensor-covered body suit, shoes and headpiece — and doing interviews for the game. Every shot — from a full-swing drive to a half-swing chip to a putt — was captured along with several reactions, both celebratory and dejected.
“It’s changed so much (since I first started playing it),” Thompson said. “They get every movement that you make. They get your reactions. It’s truly amazing just to see how far it’s come along.”
As has become expected with the game, this latest version will offer even greater course detail at courses like Augusta National and the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. So will Thompson use the video game as practice before a big tournament?
“I definitely see myself using the video game to prepare for an actual tournament,” Thompson said. “They actually laser-scanned the greens to the actual course so it actually has the breaks of the greens. It would actually help me out a lot.
“I might not even need practice rounds.”
Thompson might not be serious about that last part, but something she is serious about is interacting with fans. Thompson is active on Facebook and Twitter (@Lexi), and she sees those platforms as a way of interacting with her fans.
“I’m big on both of those, just staying in touch with my fans and keeping them updated on what I’m doing,” Thompson said. “It’s really important because they want to know what you’re up to, even if it’s not golf-related.
“I love responding to my fans. It means a lot that they’re trying to keep in touch with me, saying what they shot or asking for a retweet. It means a lot to me that they want to talk to me and I’ll give back some of my time because they’re watching me play and keeping in touch.”
And now her fans will be able to play as her in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14.