by Jeff Skinner
The first major of the year had a star-studded leaderboard to start yesterday with two of the biggest names on the LPGA Tour going head to head it what could have been a classic showdown. Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson started the day tied for the lead at The Kraft Nabisco Championship with both looking for their first major championship.
But there wasn’t much of a competition as Thompson pulled away from Wie with an front nine of 32 and headed into the back nine with a five stroke lead. Thompson used her driver to crush the ball relentlessly while Wie used her three wood off most tees only to find herself 50 yards behind Thompson far too often.
Thompson’s four under par 68 gave her a three shot margin of victory and her first major championship. At 19 she is the second youngest major winner. Morgan Pressel was 18 when she won here in 2007.
Even though a dramatic showdown between two of the bright, young stars of the LPGA never materialized, the LPGA did get a shot in the arm. Thompson is all you could want in a young player. She goes after the ball with ferocity and leads the tour in driving distance. She’s fit, she’s attractive, she’s personable and a walking billboard for the LPGA.
It may seem Wie has been on tour forever but she is only 24, and playing her best golf in years. She is also a fit, attractive, personable player and is one of the rare players that moves the needle for the LPGA . I am sure Commissioner Mike Whan would agree that either of these young women would have been a great cover model for the Golf Digest fitness issue but that’s another story.
Thompson and Wie are friends and spend plenty of time together on tour. Both were gracious afterwards and appreciated the good golf they both played this week. But it was Thompson’s day to jump revel in her victory and make the traditional jump into Poppie’s Pond.