The Lexi Legacy Begins
Remember when Michelle Wie played in the Sony Open over a decade ago? The golf media loved her and couldn’t stop telling us how fucking good she was, how she’ll play the men’s tour someday, blah blah blah. Obviously she’s never lived up to that hype, but she has become a solid player in the ladies game since she graduated from Stanford. Lexi Thompson on the other hand is everything Michelle Wie ever wanted to be. She joined the tour before she could drive a car and she’s backed up all the superlatives she’s ever been given.
Lexi won on the LPGA tour almost immediately after turning professional and now she’s also beaten Michelle to the punch of winning a major as she dominated the final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship (former Dinah Shore) to become a female major champion.
Thompson is everything Michelle Wie wishes she could be. She’s a true competitor. A killer. Her life is golf and she understands how to step on her opponents throats to be victorious. Because Lexi didn’t go around the country like a circus freak show trying to beat the men as a teen phenom, she learned how to beat her peers and she learned how to win, period. That’s not a skill, that’s a behavior. It is an attitude. She has it. Michelle never will.
Today’s play made that even more clear. Thompson went out early and played aggressive to create an insurmountable lead over the rest of the field. And not only did she dominate the field and Wie, but she routinely drove the ball well past Michelle. I’ll make no bones about that fact that I don’t like Michelle Wie, I don’t know why anyone does. Eventually her lack of actual trophies will make her a failure in the eyes of the golf media and we’ll finally stop hearing about her hype.
For Lexi, we can only assume this is the first of many majors for her. If her game has any weakness it is on the greens. However, that certainly wasn’t an issue for her this week as she made putt after putt on her way to the win. While this major is big for her, it is even bigger for the ladies game. She’s the young star they need to catch a few more eyeballs and receive more interest, sponsors, etc. Hell, Lexi got me to watch, so that tells you something. Look around your local clubs and courses in the next few months. I suspect you’ll see an influx of young girls wearing Puma gear that weren’t playing golf 2 or 3 years ago. While Lexi’s win isn’t the equivalent of Tiger’s 1997 Masters for many reasons, I think it is similar in some aspects and will someday (perhaps soon) be looked at as the landmark victory in a phenom’s career.