by Jeff Skinner
Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson will be teeing it up this week at The Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It seems like Wie has been around forever even though she is only 22. Thompson will play the LPGA full time next year just after she turns 17 and we may be looking at two of the faces that save the LPGA Tour and American Ladies golf at the same time.
Wie will graduate from Stanford next spring and will be able to play golf without the distraction of classes, studying and finals. Hopefully her golf game will be better for it and she can start piling up some victories. She was winless this season and looks forward to changing that next year. She will be trying to start next year early with a win this week in Dubai.
“I had a couple of good finishes. But it is frustrating just because sometimes weeks didn’t go my way, but at the same time you learn every week,” said Wie, who struggled with a back injury toward the end of 2010.
“Every week I gave it my all and as frustrated as I can be, I try to take a positive from it, and I feel like I improved quite a bit,” Wie said. “Whether or not my results show it or not, I’m feeling like I’m getting healthy again with my body. My body feels pretty good.”
“I haven’t been playing very well this year. I shouldn’t be getting the spotlight,” Wie said. “I need to start winning. I need to start getting into the spotlight that way.”
Thompson won on the LPGA Tour this year and when she petitioned for early entry on to the tour she was granted her wish. Thompson is about as fresh a face as there is on the LPGA Tour and a successful season by her will help the tour rebound from its recent downturn.
Thompson says she feels no pressure to be the next big thing, she just wants to play golf for a living. “I’m definitely taking it slow. You just have to take tournament by tournament. I don’t like to get ahead of myself. I always want to win, but you have to work really hard for that, amazing players out here, and the best in the world, so it’s going to take a lot.”
Wie was the next big thing a half dozen years ago and had grand expectations thrown on her. Poor management, injuries and just being a teenager stopped her from dominating ladies golf like many expected but Wie has matured and changed the way she looks a golf now. It was always her goal to get a college degree and with that completed she can now concentrate on fulfilling her potential.
Wie and Thompson will sell tickets in the U.S, no doubt and a few victories would be just what the LPGA needs. These two could be playing together for decades to come. We may just get a peek at the future of the LPGA this week in Dubai.