Lauren Thompson often keeps her teammates entertained by playing the ukulele on road trips. It plays second fiddle, however, to her solid golf game.
The Providence Christian senior, who helped the Eagles to three straight state titles (2016-2018) and is ranked as the No. 1 girls junior golfer in the state, signed a scholarship with Lipscomb University of Nashville on Wednesday afternoon.
Thompson is excited about her future in Music City.
“I’m very excited to be able to sign today,” Thompson said. “I just want to thank all of my coaches and my family for supporting me all these years in my career.
“I’m a big music person, so obviously Nashville is really exciting for me.”
Thompson has played for the Eagles since the seventh grade and won the state championship as a sophomore in 2019.
With last season’s being halted due to COVID-19, Thompson was thankful she was able to secure a scholarship.
“I was just trying to get myself out there and sent a lot of emails to different coaches,” Thompson said of the recruiting process. “I had (Lipscomb) coach Jessee Lawley contact me and we just started talking. She happened to see me play about two summers ago.
“I really loved the coach, loved the team. I got to go out to lunch with them and just thought it was a really good fit. I like the location of Lipscomb. Nashville is a very fun and cool city. I just really see myself flourishing at Lipscomb.”
Providence Christian coach Bill Oldfield gave an example of her drive to win.
“She led out team in scoring average in each of our state championship years,” Oldfield said. “In 2019, Lauren persevered to win the state championship as an individual. In that year in state, she was down by six strokes after the first day.
“But she had a phenomenal second day. She shot 4-under par 68 and won the state tournament. Quite an awesome achievement.”
Thompson credits Oldfield for helping the team succeed.
“Coach Bill has really encouraged us and helped us with the mindset of winning a state championship and winning those tournaments,” Thompson said.
“It just takes a lot of perseverance and you’ve got to have confidence in yourself that you’re going to go out there and manage the course well despite the conditions, despite how you are feeling. Coach Bill has really led us on a really good recipe to victory.”
Thompson said that Lipscomb being a private Christian liberal arts university was also an important factor in her decision.
“It’s really important to me to keep my faith very strong going off to college,” Thompson said. “Being able to take classes and learn more about our creator and Jesus. I’m just really thankful to be in a Christian environment.”
Oldfield also spoke on her strong character.
“No doubt golf has been an important part of her life in high school, but her identity remains strong with the Lord,” OIdfield said. “So even after a bad round, her faith will not be shaken.
“Golf is not easy. It takes a lot of tremendous amount of skill, patience, focus and determination. And all of that sustained over long periods of time. To play at an outstanding level like Lauren does, it takes a lot of practice. She has definitely put in the work.”
Thompson still has her senior prep season to play this spring and is looking forward to it.
“We’re going to try and go out and win another state title,” Thompson said. “For me, I just want to make sure I’m a good leader on the team and shoot the best scores I can.”
Follow Jon Johnson on Twitter @eaglesportsed