COMMENTARY | When I spoke to a prominent sports radio personality on Thursday, he told me bluntly, “I don’t see Michelle Wie winning the Walmart LPGA NW Arkansas Championship. She’s going to be tired after winning the U.S. Women’s Open and the media blitz after.”
He was right, but she gave a heck of a show this weekend…
Wie, who began her golf career at age 4 and was introduced to the game by her parents, marveled the spectators who followed her around the course at the Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers over the weekend. She finished with a 72 for T-8 finish. Even with thunder storms rolling in on Saturday, fans in the galleries around Wie seemed enthralled watching her shoot her second straight five-under par 66.
Before the evening downpour, after winning her first major title at Pinehurst last week, Wie went to the clubhouse with a two-stroke lead over South Korea’s Ryu So-Yeon when play was halted at a soggy Pinnacle.
In 2004, I remember watching Wie, the one-time prodigy, being profiled by Steve Kroft on “60 Minutes,” and I thought that she was great for the LPGA, but was it all hype?
Well, it may’ve taken her a decade, but she delivered on her promise of winning her first major. And at 24, she is still great for the LPGA. And so is world number one Stacy Lewis, who won the NW Arkansas Championship with a closing 65 capped by a birdie at the par-5 18th. The University of Arkansas alum got an enormous ovation when she walked to the putting green of the 18th. The home crowd belonged to Lewis.
Wie seemed to run out of gas on Sunday, but she could probably look at an eighth place finish after the week she’s had as a success.
After going on various talk shows after winning the Open, it’s miraculous that she did so well at Pinnacle in such a short turnaround. Has she had any rest since her win at Pinehurst?
Note: I’ve written pieces for Yahoo! Sports and Yahoo! Voices for two years.