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SBD/October 3, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
LPGA Formally Extends Tour Membership to 16-Year-Old Lexi Thompson
Published October 3, 2011
TWO THUMBS UP: YAHOO SPORTS’ Shane Bacon wrote, “This was as no-brainer as they come” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/30). SI’s Mark Godich wrote, “This was a no-brainer. … As for raising the LPGA’s profile, she’s going to have to win a lot, and sooner rather than later.” SI Golf Group Managing Editor Jim Herre wrote, “Lifting the tour is a bit much to expect from a teenager, but I think she's an athlete and competitor to be reckoned with. She has the potential to be the next star American the LPGA has been looking for.” SI’s Gary Van Sickle: “The big question is whether any LPGA player can attract enough attention to the stop-again-start-again tour to really make a difference with the public.” SI Golf+'s Mick Rouse: “She will definitely be a draw for the LPGA for a few more months, at least, but I'm not sure she'll be able to transcend the sport and be the face of the LPGA” (GOLF.com, 10/2). ESPN.com’s Farrell Evans writes women's golf “has a bona-fide star in Thompson, who has the personality and commitment to attract corporate sponsors to the sport in the U.S.” The LPGA should “try to market Thompson's golf and not try to make her a fashionista or a beauty queen or any other thing that stresses her gender” (ESPN.com, 10/3).
LET HER TAKE HER TIME: Whan said the LPGA does not need Thompson "to win next season for the LPGA to be strong." He added the tour does not need "to ride the Lexi bandwagon, and she doesn’t need to feel the pressure of having to win right now.” Whan: "I find in sports that we all rush to anoint ‘the next one.’ Sometimes that puts added pressure on the player, or the sport, or even the league" (“Golf Central,” Golf Channel, 9/30). In Honolulu, Ferd Lewis wrote under the header, “LPGA Sets Thompson Up For Wie Treatment.” Lewis: “May she enjoy a successful and balanced life -- minus much of the drama that surrounded [Michelle] Wie -- before it is time for her to hand over the mantle of ‘phenom’” (HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER, 10/1).