SBD/Issue 235/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Wie Could Build On Solheim Success To Become LPGA Superstar

Writer Says Wie Could Be LPGA's
Cross-Cultural American Superstar
The LPGA "certainly hopes" last week's Solheim Cup is a turning point for golfer Michelle Wie, as she "could be its big cross-cultural American superstar," according to Gary Van Sickle of SI. Wie finished 3-0-1 in her Solheim Cup debut as the U.S. team defeated Europe 16-12, and SI's Alan Shipnuck wrote the event "will be remembered as the week her career finally took off." SI's Damon Hack: "We'll look back at this year's Solheim Cup as the turning point to Michelle Wie's career. She has been fully accepted now -- by her peers, by the fans, by almost everyone." Meanwhile, SI's Dick Friedman noted it was "definitely significant that Wie's parents, while on the scene, weren't allowed to hover," as that "may have loosened her up" (GOLF.com, 8/23). In Charlotte, Ron Green Jr. writes, "In an otherwise miserable year for the LPGA, the U.S. victory in the Solheim Cup Sunday had to feel like an early Christmas, generating some genuine interest in what was happening while remaking Michelle Wie into a star again." If Wie can "begin to win regularly, it would help revive a tour desperately in need of a boost" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/25).

SOMETHING TO BUILD ON: The AP's Nancy Armour wrote the Solheim Cup was the "perfect advertisement for women's golf," and the next question is, "could it also be the remedy for the LPGA Tour, which has seemed more like a bad soap opera in recent months?" Golfer Juli Inkster: "We've got some great golf. If people would write about the golf and not about all the other stuff, we would be great." Armour noted it will be "another two years before the LPGA will have this kind of lovefest again," and the challenge for the golfers will be to "maintain the enthusiasm of the Solheim Cup when they're opponents instead of teammates" (AP, 8/24). GolfChannel.com Editor Jay Coffin, on whether the LPGA can capitalize on the Solheim Cup momentum, "You hope so, but this is the fifth one of these that I've been to and we've talked about this five times and it's never seemed to happen." Coffin: "But if you're the LPGA and there's ever a year that they need to build on the success of the Solheim Cup, this is the year. They need that to happen" ("Golf Central," Golf Channel, 8/24). In Nashville, Joe Biddle writes under the header, "LPGA Could Learn Lesson From Solheim Cup." The tour is "at a crossroads" following the resignation of Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, as tournament sponsors are "dropping," and tournaments are "canceling because of lack of sponsors." The Solheim Cup was "everything the LPGA is not." The LPGA is "rudderless," and it "better identify a commissioner who can find ways to take advantage of the emotions the Solheim Cup brought to the surface." Biddle: "The product is there. Without a dominant American golfer, it's a hard sell" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 8/25).

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