Before they turned pro: ISPS HANDA World Invitational winner Alexa Pano
In April of 2022, Alexa Pano
announced her decision to turn pro, at the age of 17. The former child star -- who appeared in the film "The Short Game" -- joined the Epson Tour -- earning her position based on her third-place finish in LPGA Stage II qualifying.
Pano was ineligible, that year, to play the Q-Series and earn a full Tour card, because she did not meet the minimum age requirement. But that all changed in 2022, and she finished T21 in Q-Series to secure her card.
A little over a year later, Pano is an LPGA Champion after her playoff victory at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational. Even better? The victory came on her 19th birthday, August 20. It took her three playoff holes to win the title and $250,000 first-place prize money, which is the biggest payday of her career.
We've been following Alexa since she became the youngest-ever winner in AJGA history, at the age of 12.
In 2019, at the age of 15, Pano qualified for the U.S. Women's Open, played in the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur, made the cut in three Symetra Tour (now Epson Tour) events, and was the medalist at the U.S. Women's Amateur where she advanced to the final 16.
A major stepping stone for Pano came at the 2018 Dixie Amateur, where her victory assured her a position in the ANWA championship the following April.
AmateurGolf.com founder Pete Wlodkowski caught up with the young phenom, who reflected on her Dixie Amateur win and where it ranks among her growing list of achievements, her appearance in the documentary film The Short Game
, how she sees her game developing, and more. Listen below: