Golf: Who is NEXT?
Lexi Thompson is no stranger to hype -- or outsize expectations. In 2007 at age 12, she became the youngest player to compete in the U.S. Women's Open. Three years later, she turned pro. In the fall of 2011, when she was just 16, Thompson became the youngest to win on the LPGA Tour. Oh, and then she successfully petitioned the LPGA Tour for membership, even though she was a year shy of the age requirement. Her bubbly personality, blonde hair and nearly-six-foot frame had ...
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Every year since 1998, ESPN The Magazine has recognized an elite group of emerging athletes to watch in the year ahead -- athletes we call NEXT. They are competitors not only on the cusp of stardom, but on the verge of transcending their sports. NEXT is what happens when the hype is real.