BEDMINSTER, N.J. — When world No. 3 Lexi Thompson tees off Thursday in the opening round of the U.S. Women’s Open, Judy Thompson hopes to walk nine holes with her daughter.
That’s the goal. There is no guarantee she will make it. She might do more.
At an event where the focus of the biggest tournament in women’s golf has been its location — on a course owned by President Donald Trump — there are other stories.
There is one about Judy and Lexi Thompson. It’s a mother-daughter tale. The daughter is looking to win her first Open.
Judy Thompson’s story is about life, and the fight for it, again.
"She’s the strongest woman I know and I always say I want to be half the woman that she is when I grow up and she’s been a role model of mine and, like I said, she’s my best friend and great to have her out here supporting me," Lexi Thompson said.
The past few months have been hard for the family.
Two months ago, the 59-year-old mother of three professional golfers was diagnosed with uterine cancer.
With the help of fellow golfer Morgan Pressel’s Foundation, robotic surgery quickly followed. Last week, Judy Thompson finished her fifth and final session of an aggressive internal radiation treatment. Next week, she will return to Florida to talk to doctors about her prognosis.
Physically, Judy Thompson is tired. It’s one of the biggest side effects of radiation. She is fighting through it and looking forward to this week.
"I appreciate it and I am grateful for what I have," Judy Thompson said of life. "When people aren’t dealt cards like we are dealt, they take things for granted. I treasure every moment I have and I enjoy it."
Judy Thompson has dealt with cancer before. She had breast cancer 11 years ago and was treated with a drug that can cause other forms of cancer.
Like last time, Judy doesn’t want her children, Curtis, Nicholas and Lexi, to stop playing golf because of her illness. They have been there for her, whether it was through a visit or a telephone call.
"That was enough," Judy Thompson said.
The mother-daughter bond is special for Judy Thompson. She talks with her daughter daily, sometimes more than once. Her eyes well with tears when she talks about it.
Entering the first round, Judy Thompson is just hoping her daughter has a good week.
"I just want her to have fun and enjoy herself," she said. "What happens, happens. Try your hardest, and it is what is it. I would be very proud of her (if she won). I would love it, but just play, have fun. It’s day to day."