Questions: Is this week's LPGA event, the Navistar LPGA Classic Presented by Monaco RV, an omen of the future for the struggling organization? Is there a Nostradamus effect in play here? Has the LPGA turned up the excitement a notch now that the PGA Tour season is over?
Answer: Yes, we sure hope so.
This week's event in Prattville, AL has all the makings of an astrological happening. All the stars have aligned for this one tournament. The top ten players are separated by just two strokes. Perhaps not unusual but it's a dynamic mix of international stars, the top players, the hottest players, the unknown players, the old, the young and the very young.
See if you recognize any of these five players at -10: Lorena Ochoa, the #1 female player in the world who has rediscovered her golf game; Laura Davies, a major championship winner who is experienced (a synonym for moving along in years) yet still has great events; Yani Tseng, a 20-year old with a major victory in the 2008 McDonald's LPGA Championship; Giulia Sergas, unknown Italian with ten years of professional experience; and here's the kicker … 14-year old amateur phenom Alexis Thompson who wins just about everything in the amateur ranks and is now picking on the big girls.
One stroke back if the LPGA's hottest player, Sophie Gustafson who won last week's tournament. And five players are two strokes back at -8. This quintet features the only and only Michelle Wie still looking for her first LPGA victory.
So it's about time the LPGA got a break. And here's what we're hoping for a the end of 72 holes – wait for it – a playoff between Michelle Wie and Alexis Thompson.