News & ToursNovember 15, 2009

Wie's victory a boost for Americans, but not for TV

Random thoughts in the aftermath of Michelle Wie's victory in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on Sunday:

-- It was the first victory by an American in more than six months, since Cristie Kerr won the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill on May 10. Foreign players had won the previous 17 tournaments. Moreover, U.S. players finished first, second (Paul Creamer) and tied for third (Kerr and Morgan Pressel, along with South Korea's Jiyai Shin), which these days is as improbable as Wie having gone seven years without a victory.

-- Sunday was one of those days when the LPGA story unfolding was more compelling than anything that might have happened at the PGA Tour event, in this case the Children's Miracle Network Classic. Yet the Golf Channel carried the PGA Tour event through to its conclusion, the second hole of a playoff (won by Stephen Ames), before it began showing the LPGA event on a delayed basis. The audience was denied the opportunity to see Wie win live. That was unfortunate.

-- At a time the LPGA is attempting to regain its equilibrium in an economy that has rocked that tour, Wie's victory was a timely gift. More than anyone else on the LPGA, she transcends the women's game, and the brighter she shines, the better chance the tour has of weathering the economic storm.

-- What a weekend for Stanford. Its football team overwhelmed USC, 55-21, Tiger Woods won the Australian Masters and Wie, a Stanford sophomore, won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

-- John Strege

More from The Loop