Lexi Thompson wrapped up her round at the Evian Championship on Sunday in France, and was preparing to make the trek north to the Woburn Golf Club in England ahead of this weeks’ Women’s British Open.
Yet when she got to the airport in Geneva, Switzerland, to catch a flight to the United Kingdom, there was just one problem: She didn’t have her passport.
Thompson quickly realized that she had packed it away in her golf bag, which was in a rental van with nearly 40 other player’s bags already on its way to England. So Thompson’s father, Scott, called the van driver and asked him to pull over.
When the driver, Ian Wright, got the call, he screamed.
“That van was packed to the hilt,” Wright said, via the Golf Channel. “A mouse couldn’t have found room to live in there.”
Wright, already two hours on the road, then pulled over to wait for Thompson’s caddie, who had jumped into a taxi to go meet him and retrieve the passport. Wright started unpacking the van, trying to find the right golf bag.
Finally, Wright and Thompson’s caddie tracked down her bag and found the passport. But by the time Wright finally got the truck re-packed, he was behind about three hours. The ferry he was supposed to ride across the English Channel on had left without him, and he got stuck in traffic the next morning, too.
Thompson, who declined to comment to the Golf Channel, ended up missing her flight, too, and didn’t get to practice at all on Monday.
A field of angry players
Her mistake, however, ended up costing 38 other golfers a day of practice, too. Wright didn’t end up getting to Woburn Golf Club until about 5 p.m. on Monday night.
“Forgetting her passport, that was an honest mistake,” said her agent, Bobby Kreusler, via the Golf Channel. “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.”
Many players, naturally, weren’t happy about Thompson’s mistake either — which delayed their preparation for the fourth and final major championship of the season.
“I don’t know why the driver would agree to accommodate one person knowing it would punish about a third of the field,” Ryann O’Toole said, via the Golf Channel. “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.’”
O’Toole — whose clubs arrived late to the Evian Championship, too — and others were offered rental clubs instead, however she said that wasn’t a viable option.
“They asked me if I could just use a set of rental clubs,” O’Toole said, via the Golf Channel. “I told them that’s like asking a NASCAR driver to race in a rental car.”
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