SBD/March 15, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Stacy Lewis Is On Her Way To Becoming The New Face Of The LPGA

Two of Lewis' endorsers became LPGA tournament title sponsors this year
Golfer Stacy Lewis has become the "new face" of the LPGA Tour, and the fact that she is a "blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl-next-door with an inspirational story is the stuff of a commissioner's dreams," according to Alan Shipnuck of GOLF.com. Lewis is currently ranked No. 3 in the world, and LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said, "There’s no question Stacy has energized the domestic market. She has lifted all boats." Two companies Lewis had endorsement deals with, Pure Silk and Marathon Petroleum, "have stepped up to become tournament title sponsors this year." Marathon President & CEO Gary Heminger said, "Certainly our relationship with Stacy showed us the value of being associated with the LPGA." Lewis recently "re-upped with Mizuno and signed a new deal with Omega watches." Shipnuck noted her ascension in the marketplace is "mirrored by her elevation among colleagues as the gold standard for preparation and maximizing one’s potential" (GOLF.com, 3/12). In California, Larry Bohanan wrote for "one of the few times in the last 20 years or so, the LPGA seems to be a wide-open tour." There is "no single dominant player" on the tour at the moment, although Lewis "seems to be the closest." There is a "lot of talent on the LPGA these days, talent capable of winning pretty much any time that players tee it up." Yani Tseng seemed "poised to be the next long-term top player in the [women's game], and she might be again as early as this year." But as Tseng "searches for her game, the LPGA is a guessing game each week" (MYDESERT.com, 3/12).

BROADENING HER HORIZONS: In Phoenix, Scott Bordow wrote Michelle Wie has won two LPGA titles, but she "didn't dominate the LPGA Tour and become the crossover superstar that could boost the popularity of women's golf." As a result, Wie's career has been "labeled everything from a disappointment to an abject failure." However, her critics "have it all wrong." Wie "didn't become an inferior golfer," she instead became "a better person" and enrolled at Stanford. Given how many pro athletes "rarely escape the boundaries of their sport, Wie's choices should be applauded, not jeered" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/14).
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