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Old 09-20-2011, 12:09 PM   #1
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THOMPSON'S PRESENT AND FUTURE
Charlie Hanger, executive editor, Golf.com: One thing I learned today: It's much easier to get into fall golf and the FedEx Cup playoffs when your NFL team stinks. Thank you Kansas City Chiefs for not distracting me from Lexi Thompson's historic win and the final round of the BMW! Thompson has been on this track for some time, but where do we think she's headed, and how does her game compare to other phenoms, like Michelle Wie, at this age?
Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: She's headed to No. 1; it's just a question of when. She has as much talent as Wie but none of the demons and a fraction of the external pressure.
Damon Hack, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I'll second that. Youngest winner in 61 years of the LPGA Tour, and she has two years to spare? She's the real deal. I love her game and her family dynamic, with older brothers who have helped shape her competitive spirit.
Jim Gorant, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Wie seems to be a really engaged person who's about more than golf. Lexi seems to be all about the game, which I think gives her greater upside. Her swing isn't as beautiful to look at as Wie's was, but she's tall like Michelle, long, and she's got the pedigree. I think she's going to tear it up.
Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: The difference between Wie and Lexi is simple. Wie wanted to experience real life and go to a real college, Stanford. Lexi wanted to play pro golf, period. Lexi has the kind of power, like Wie, to dominate the women's tour. She seems more driven, too. If she continues to improve her short game and putting, she's got No. 1 potential. She's certainly going to be the No. 1 American woman player in short order.
(Have a question for Gary Van Sickle's mailbag? E-mail editor@golf.com or ask it on Facebook.)
Shipnuck: Wie has always been focused on technical precision and never really learned to win. Lexi grew up trying to beat her brothers. Their competitive makeup is very different.
Van Sickle: Alan is right on the money. Lexi has a lot more experience winning than Michelle does. Michelle, at the moment, has a lot bigger bank account. That, too will change.
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Michelle Wie had a better swing, a better putting stroke, a more polished program behind her at 16. And Lexi's better in every other way. She's dog-eat-dog. I love watching her play.
Stephanie Wei, contributor, SI Golf+: I don't think there's ever been a question that Lexi was going to be a huge star. Hopefully she keeps winning consistently because the LPGA could really use a marketable American star. And like Van Sickle said, Lexi doesn't have any outside interests other than playing golf, so she can focus all her attention on that.
Hanger: She certainly seems to have the talent to do whatever she wants, but I always worry about burnout for someone who accomplishes so much so young.
Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: I don't see burnout as an issue for Lexi. She can't get enough. Wie may have been burned out before she escaped to Stanford — a lot of pressure from the parents in her case.
Ryan Reiterman, senior producer, Golf.com: Right now there are not enough events for her to burn out. Hopefully she's the next superstar because a dominant American is something the LPGA really needs.
Wei: Thing is, winning doesn't automatically earn her a Tour card for next year, and she may still have to go to Q-school. That's lame. I mean, she just became the youngest winner on the LPGA by two years!
[Editors' note: To be granted membership for this win, Thompson would have to petition the LPGA to waive the 18-year-old age requirement, which the tour already waived for qualifying school.]
Hack: Her petition should be granted. The LPGA needs Lexi.
Reiterman: They should just tell her she can join next year when she's 17. Making her go through Q-school is a waste of her time.
Herre: Bet the ranch that Lexi is an LPGA member in 2012, one way or another.
Rick Lipsey, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated: I bet the Solheim Cup team wishes they had her. She's got more game than some women on the U.S. team.
Van Sickle: The LPGA is out of its mind if it doesn't exempt Lexi. For one, it's a simple matter of fairness. Two, she's already the next best thing the tour has to an American star. (Wie still has the marquee name and drawing power.) If you let a player compete on your tour and she wins and doesn't get the exemption that others would have gotten, you're going to get killed in the court of public opinion. And if it came down to it, you'd lose in a real court, too.
Lipsey: Whan and the LPGA are just being careful about this, not wanting to move too fast and set any grand new rules. It looks like a no brainer to give her the green light, but there are A LOT more bad stories from teenage prodigies in sports than there are good stories. Whan wants have this one end up in the good category.
Wei: I agree with the concerns on teen prodigies, especially girls, but it's not the LPGA's job to parent. The tour's job is to give the best players in the world a place to play.
Van Sickle: And golf is unlike many other pro sports because there's no subjectivity. If you shoot good enough scores, you win. You qualify. How can they possibly keep her out? Unlike Maurice Clarett and his failed NFL suit, Lexi would have a very strong court case if she is denied membership. Not that she'd likely pursue it. As Jim said, it's a moot point. She'll be in next year.
Lipsey: I don't think she'll generate very much interest. Nice player, but unless she wins many majors, not a Q-rating maker.
Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: Good point, Rick. We're talking about her like she's a big star, but that's a long way off. Plus, Lexi can only be a marketing machine and attendance/ratings draw if she's promoted as the female Tiger Woods, but those expectations are impossible and can be damaging, especially for a 16-year-old. It wasn't just Wie's parents who put all that pressure on her.
Tell us what you think: Is Lexi Thompson the real deal? Could she make you more interested in the LPGA?


Read more: PGA Tour Confidential: 2011 Navistar Classic, BMW Championship - Tours & News - Golf.com
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:08 AM   #2
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This is another flavor of the week story.....no question it was a fantastic win by Lexi at the age of 16.

But let's give this some time to evolve b4 we (the media) start labeling Lexi the great US female golfer superstar.

e.g.) Look at all the hype Ryann attracted since her Solheim selection....only to miss 3 of 3 cuts by 11, 10 and strokes and finishing near DFL in 2 of the 3 events.

BTW....I do like Ryann...have seen her play twice...but IMO..... needs work on her 100 yd in approach shots.....these shots were not at top calibre LPGA tour level when I saw her play.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:54 AM   #3
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I have nothing against Ryann, but she should never have been selected in the first place. And I'm thinking that perhaps the wrong Hurst was selected, also.
I hope I'm wrong.

Viva Annika
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Buzzer View Post
I have nothing against Ryann, but she should never have been selected in the first place. And I'm thinking that perhaps the wrong Hurst was selected, also.
I hope I'm wrong.

Viva Annika
Just for curiosity, who would you have picked as the two captain's picks if you were the US Solheim Captain and it was Sunday night after the Safeway Classic?
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Buzzer View Post
I have nothing against Ryann, but she should never have been selected in the first place. And I'm thinking that perhaps the wrong Hurst was selected, also.
I hope I'm wrong.

Viva Annika
Buzz
I think Ryann will be ok in 4balls...if she plays with a shorter partner....it will allow her to determine how aggressive she plays...but generally she does have an aggressive style of play...it help and hurts her in stroke play......I expect her to only play 3 matches only.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:16 PM   #6
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What have the other vets done in the last year or even 2 years.

Diaz, P Hurst, McPherson, Futcher, Ward, Gulbis. Nothing.

The 2 cpt's pick are a crap shoot. Are any of the above going to do better.

So might as well go with the new semi hot hands, O'toole and V Hurst. I expect them to see the least amount of action along with Inkster. I rest Inkster the first day, maybe Play her once in the morning on the second day, depending how she played and how others are playing.

If the capt's do a wink here and a wink there it would be nice to see her play singles against Davies as was stated by someone else earlier.

Question. Does that hurt integrity of the Cup? I don't think it will happen.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mr3putt View Post
Buzz
I think Ryann will be ok in 4balls...if she plays with a shorter partner....it will allow her to determine how aggressive she plays...but generally she does have an aggressive style of play...it help and hurts her in stroke play......I expect her to only play 3 matches only.
I don't know that I am a big proponent of the Long ball with the short ball.
Some Long ball hitters tend to be erratic so you are putting your short hitters at a disadvantage with poor aproach positions.

Glad I am not capt. I would go crazy trying to put together my lineup.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Buzzer View Post
These guys are embarrassing themselves, again, in proclaiming that Lexi Thompson will be #1, or even the #1 American. It's way too early to tell. At least one guy had the brains to ask if she might get burned out after achieving so much at such a young age.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:23 PM   #9
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Blue, I don't know who I would pick, but probably someone with experience...like Wendy Ward, Pat Hurst, Michelle Redmond....
It's not that I think Ryann and Vicki don't have the talent....it's because they don't have the experience. Neither have been playing "lights out" recently, either.
Like I say, I hope I'm wrong....but it's just a feeling I have. That's all.

Viva Anika
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Blue View Post
These guys are embarrassing themselves, again, in proclaiming that Lexi Thompson will be #1, or even the #1 American. It's way too early to tell. At least one guy had the brains to ask if she might get burned out after achieving so much at such a young age.
I agree. We've heard it before with another young player, and we're still debating whether she'll ever be half of what the media tried to make us believe she would be.

Like with that player, I'm taking a wait and see attitude. She may be the greatest thing since Annika, or she may, indeed, burn out quickly.
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