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LPGA's '14 Season Thriving Thanks To Abundance Of Star Winners Like Wie, Lewis
Published July 9, 2014
WIESY DOES IT: ESPNW's Mechelle Voepel wrote Michelle Wie's profile was boosted by her U.S. Women's Open win at Pinehurst, and it is "fair to say that's good for the bottom line -- both Wie's and the LPGA's." LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said, "I think with the LPGA, the impact of major wins is even more heightened." He added, "On the women's side, there are fewer times when the sports world really pays attention, and the U.S. Open is the max. When a player on the LPGA Tour wins a major, the exposure jump is dramatic." Voepel noted Wie's new Q score of 14 "likely will reflect what already seems evident: that Wie's victories benefit the LPGA." Friendly rivals such as world No. 1 Stacy Lewis and Kraft Nabisco Championship winner Lexi Thompson "laud the popularity boost that Wie brings the tour, even as they, also, are adding to that" (ESPNW.com, 7/8). In N.Y., Hank Gola wrote by "finally fulfilling her potential with her breakthrough win," Wie has "given her circuit some much-needed attention." But Wie is "not the only bright spot for the LPGA this year." There is Lewis’ "climb back to No. 1 and the emergence of 17-year-old Lydia Ko plus the headlines 11-year-old Lucy Li made" when she qualified for the Women's Open at Pinehurst. But Wie is "carrying herself like a star, poised and mature, for the first time." Gola: "Will it mean that womens' golf will share the stage equally with the men? Of course not. But no one has been yawning lately" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/5).
GOING TOE-TO-TOE: GOLFWEEK's Beth Ann Nichols wrote of Wie and Lewis, "If a rivalry develops between these two, we'll be sure to insert the word friendly." The LPGA "hasn’t had a good sparring match since Karrie Webb and Annika Sorenstam, and that was short-lived." Also, "neither particularly lit up the press room." But Lewis, one of the "best interviews on tour, welcomes the idea of going toe-to-toe with Wie." Lewis said, “I think rivals are great for any sport. I don’t think you have to hate each other because we are never going to hate each other. But I can tell you we both want to beat each other once we get on the golf course, and that’s all you need for a rivalry to work" (GOLFWEEK.com, 7/8).