Lexi Thompson is making her PGA Tour debut this week at the 2023 Shriners Children's Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nev. She's the seventh woman to play in a PGA Tour-sanctioned or recognized event and the first to do it since 2018.
Whenever a woman plays on the PGA Tour, skeptics often complain about a woman taking a spot from a male professional in the field and lob a whole variety of barbs that are not rooted in reality. One of the most common things said about a woman playing on the PGA Tour is that they don't play from the same tees as the male players in the field that week.
However, that's not the case.
Lexi Thompson is playing from the exact same set of tees as the 131 male competitors in the field this week in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Fall event. The scorecard length for host course TPC Summerlin is 7,255 yards, and it plays as a par-71 golf course. It plays shorter than the scorecard length due to some elevation and firmer conditions in the desert. Nevertheless, Thompson is playing on the same tees as the men.
On the PGA Tour or any major professional tour -- open to all or specific to female players -- the players competing in the tournament are typically playing from the same set of tees. Nelly Korda experienced the same thing in playing in what's now the Grant Thornton Invitational, which is considered a Challenge event on the PGA Tour schedule. There are no staggered tees in that event.
However, on the DP World Tour and Ladies European Tour, there is a co-sanctioned event called the Scandinavian Mixed, where men and women are competing in the same tournament. They do so from tees selected specifically for male and female competitors. The same thing happens on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia's WebEx Players Series events.
This week, though, Lexi Thompson is playing the full-length PGA Tour course.