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Saturday
Apr052014

Dream Kraft Scenario: Lexi And Michelle In Final Pairing 

Randall Mell, fueled by the raging international controversy that is the Paulina Gretzky Golf Digest cover, opens his story by asking "who needs the cover of Golf Digest?" Oy. So let's try for the millionth time to just focus on what really matters, the potential star wars looming Sunday at Mission Hills.

Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie tied for the lead, with a great mix of veterans and another youngster in Charley Hull lurking. Mell writes:

This is golf theater at its best for the women. It’s Wie, 24, the former phenom who pulled her battle-scarred mind and body off the mat to fight for a second chance at her dreams. And it’s Thompson, still the phenom at 19, the player so many believe will become the dominant force Wie hasn’t yet become.

Thompson and Wie pulled away from the pack Saturday with stellar shot making.

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Reader Comments (36)

Lexi will pull away
04.5.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Spachler
Would anyone ever say "this is golf theater for the men"?
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterD.
Both Thompson and Wie tend to struggle with short putts, not a good sign. If somebody can shoot a low number behind them, there is a good chance they will choke under the pressure.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered Commenterlevk
@ D: Yes. The term has been used many times for men's coverage. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, to quote a sage...
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLarry Petrillo
For us golf swing geeks this pairing is perfect- Lexi has a homegrown looking action and Michelle is swinging technically pure. I for one am hoping Michelle wins. Be nice to see her win a major after all the travails. Should be some great golf.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterTaffy
LPGA officials probably have champagne on oce just in case either of them wins. This is about the best scenario LPGA could hope for, hopefully Sunday lives up to its potential.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterElf
This is a fantastic final pairing. Nothing against Lexi but I would like to see Michelle Wie put to rest the ghosts of past and claim her first major.

Great to see Charlie Hull and fellow scot Catriona Matthew up there challenging. Hmm, which begs the question; I wonder if Catriona can swim!

And then ... there's Se Ri ...
04.6.2014 | Unregistered Commenterscots wha hae
Love to see Michelle win, while Lexi waits her turn,but I'd put my money on Se Ri. She's been there, and her putting isn't an adventure.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1
It's not going to be easy for either Thompson or Wie. Both were very tentative with the putter yesterday, and that will need to change in a big way today for either of them to win. But indeed - a great final round pairing with everything at stake, with several potential outcomes. I will be tuning in this evening, despite the 5-hour time difference.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
Correction: 8 hour time difference. I guess it's a good thing I don't have to get up early and go to work tomorrow!
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
I think this could really propel Wie to greater things, whereas a loss could really be crushing for her. Thompson is much less vulnerable if she doesn't win, not nearly as much scar tissue. I would like to see Michelle win it, I think this is her time to finally realize all that potential. Great story lines all around!
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBDF
A year ago Charley Hull chose to play here as an amateur and miss a Curtis Cup practice session (for prospective Curtis Cuppers).
Initially this caused her not to be considered for the Curtis Cup.

It would be ironic if her course knowledge from last year helped her win today
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterStiggy
Bovada website updates their odds after each round, and it has Lexi as a slight favorite, 1.5:1, vs Wie's 1.8:1.

Interesting. Perhaps they think that Michelle has a higher choke potential. And given their differences in World Rankings, Lexi certainly has been playing better over the past year, so perhaps they feel that today is the day that Michelle reverts to the mean.

Any thoughts on why the books made Lexi a favorite overnight?
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy
What's being forgotten about this final round is a 3rd possibility- Se Ri Pak getting a career Grand Slam. She's 2 shots behind Wie and Thompson and not out of it.

Pak has had more impact on professional golf today than anyone. Because she sparked the Korean movement on the LPGA Tour.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill
The men's event doesn't compare to this LPGA leaderboard. Let's go Wie!
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterRon
"Pak has had more impact on professional golf today than anyone. Because she sparked the Korean movement on the LPGA Tour"

Aye

Wie, Lexi, Si Ri, Kerr.......not a "bad' winner in the bunch.

Take that GD and Paulina! These ladies are more than just a pretty face.

I would rather watch these beautiful women play golf than Paulina pose.
A playoff with Thompson, Wie and Pak would be amazing for all of golf.....Happy Sunday!!!
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvan Pur
Even Pur,

A Wie, Thompson, Pak playoff would be great but who would be the winner? Pak is 6-0 lifetime in playoffs. There isn't a Champions, PGA Tour, European Tour, or LPGA Tour golfer whose won more than 3 playoffs without losing at least one time.

Pak has beaten the likes of Laura Davies, Karrie Webb two times, and Suzann Pettersen in 4 of those playoffs.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill
A playoff would probably be great TV, but I prefer it when tournaments are decided by 72 holes rather than sudden death. I'm rooting for Michelle but I'd bet on Se Ri. The complete Pak-age...
04.6.2014 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1
Was the cover mentioned? (I mute most of the commentary.) Looking forward to today.

Is attendance down? When I attended 2-3 yrs ago, the crowds were bigger. That said, I may have been there on Sunday.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered Commentergreg
@ Greg

RE: The Cover

It is interesting that today on the cover page of the GD website they have pictures and stories on both Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson -- appears they are trying to offer a soft olive branch.

Timing of these pictures being posted is very obvious.
I really don't get the cover controvery. Why isn't anyone upset with Golf World who almost never puts an LPGA player on the cover except for the US Open Champion.

Karrie Webb wins the Kraft Nabisco, Phil Mickelson wins Houston. Mickelson is on the cover
Se Ri Pak becomes the 4th LPGA golfer to win the same tournament 5 times, Mickelson loses the Irish Open in a playoff, Mickelson is on the cover.
Se Ri Pak wins at Kingsmill, and meets the requirement of 27 pts for the Hall of Fame, Joey Sindelar wins New Orleans in a playoff. Sindelar is on the cover.
Not to mention all those years where the Kraft Nabisco/Dinah Shore went head to head with the pseudo major- The Players Championship. The TPC winner always would be featured on the cover.

The thing is, GW is a subscription magazine. Golf Digest can be found at newsstands. So the two magazines approach to their covers should be different but it isn't. Gretzky was put on the cover to sell the magazine. All those GW cases I cite above, the cover doesn't matter. GW acts like it does.

Don't forget Golf Magazine choosing Rory McIlroy over Yani Tseng for player of the year a few years ago. That was done either out of clear stupidity or because a McIroy cover would sell better than a Tseng cover. I favor the latter theory.

GD was just doing standard operating practice. Sex will sell magazines at the newsstand, not the LPGA>
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill
@Brian

Golf Digest is one big advertisement. Golf clubs, Golf Balls, Golf Vacations,etc. I stopped subscribing to it years ago because the fact of the matter is the magazine is just one big advertisement. The coverage of pro golf in it is scant.

GW has lots of advertisements, but not as bad as GD.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill
This is what the LPGA is all about. It doesn't get any better. Wie and Lexi in the final group with a legend and a future superstar playing in front of them.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterTony Jesselli
Would love to see Lexi win.

My back hurts just watching Michelle putt.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEat It
(***Spoiler alert henceforth!***)


Lexi is on a roll... opens with birdies on 3 of her first 5 holes. Lots of golf left but a great start for the young lady.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
Great third round. Can't wait to catch up on the DVR of the final round! This is a great tournament worthy of lots of coverage.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPTL
Looks like Wie is going to choke real bad today. Not surprising at all, inside her head must be a battleground. She should get a good performance psychologist and go to Dave Stockton for short game and putting.
Lexi looks rock solid... so far.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Either MW's putting coach is playing a supreme and wicked joke on her, or she's playing it on us.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDJ Watts
Lots of empty seats in the grandstand at 18. Wonder what the attendance was today. The weather looks perfect.
04.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEat It
Toni, who is the legend?
04.6.2014 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
I think he was referring to Si Ri Pak as the "legend" playing in front of Wie and Lexi.
My bad, missed the "in front" part.
04.7.2014 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
That was fun to see. Great to see a 19-year-old rise up fearlessly. And it might be worth mentioning that the announcing team was pretty good. As others have said, the mute button has become one's best friend during golf telecasts. But the general ease and modesty of this group -- highlighted by the pleasing voice of Judy Rankin -- was so good, I listened throughout.
04.7.2014 | Unregistered CommenterClaude
Judy Rankin is the best. I would take her in a heartbeat over all the CBS analysts we are going to hear this week.
04.7.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSari
Judy was GREAT!

Lexi was GREAT!

MW was gracious and admitted to being outplayed and putting poorly from wanting it too much.

Phil Parkin should be dragged thru the desert by a horse with no name for putting the announcers curse on MW. What a putz.

Again congrats to Lexi, and I hope that MW finally shows us her talent by winning, winning, winning!
04.7.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth

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