Stacy Lewis is a young female golfer from Arkansas, born February 16, 1985. She won the HSBC Women's Champions 2013 this week and became the leading current money winning female golfer in the world. The LPGA has been looking for a young attractive American to take over leadership of the tour and improve their television ratings for quite a long time. The LPGA has the same marketing problems as does the WNBA and pretty much all other televised female sporting events. The best players are just not that attractive or personable. I would suppose that the television revenue generated from beach volleyball is the highest grossing female sporting event currently televised. I'm just guessing about that, but I bet I'm right. So even though Stacy Lewis is young, American, and reasonably attractive, it's unlikely that she is going to boost the LPGA's market share. The reason is that she just does not look happy playing golf. She doesn't have that beaming smile or the winning personality that makes for a strong fan base. So the LPGA will probably continue to suffer. For years, it was dominated by overweight lesbians like Pat Hurst or Laura Davies. They were eventually replaced by Annika Sorenstam. She had the "it" factor; she was blonde, Nordic, and had a fiery desire to dominate the LPGA. And, probably more importantly, it looked as if she was having fun while she played After she retired, a Mexican girl named Lorena Ochoa showed up and started winning everything. That didn't help ratings in the middle of all the immigration debacle. After that, the South Koreans started showing up en masse. Any Sunday that you would turn on the LPGA you were likely to see fairly unattractive South Koreans beating everyone else by several strokes. What the LPGA really wanted the domination of someone like Paula Creamer or Morgan Pressel or Brittany Lincicome or this new blond teenager, Lexi Thompson, or even Michelle Wie, the Kristi Yamaguchi of golf. For now they'll have to do with the little Arkansas girl, Stacy Lewis.
Why does Stacy Lewis not look happy playing golf? She's making a fortune and she's doing what she supposedly loves. Number one, she's one of those people who just isn't happy with anything less than perfection. If she gets a putt off-line or a bad shot from the tee or the fairway, she's likely to slam her club into the ground and mutter curses which can probably be heard by several folks around her. This probably all stems from her childhood. She suffered from a severe case of scoliosis as a child and wore a brace for seven years which she tried to hide from the world. She always loved golf and was sorely afraid that she would never be able to play the game she loved. However; she was the Rolex player of the year in 2012 and, as I said, off to a great start in 2013. She says she is working with public relations people at the LPGA in order to try to improve her image. Maybe this will work out, but I don't believe the Tiger changes his stripes very often.
If you think I'm being sexist and I shouldn't be saying things about unattractive women golfers, here's Ty Votaw, the LPGA commissioner, who spearheaded the new marketing strategy vis a vis Laura Godfrey: “She’s an excellent golfer, which means she’ll be highly visible to the media and fans. The fact that she’s ugly is beyond her control. We can’t kick her off the tour for that—we already looked into it. But she could do more to look attractive. She dresses like a goddamn schoolteacher. I’m prettier than she is, and I’m a man. This is unacceptable.”
So good luck to young Stacy Lewis. I wish her well. I highly doubt that she will be more of an embarrassment to Arkansas than either Bill Clinton or John Daly.
Update 8/4/2013: Stacy added to her major wins today with a victory at the Women's British Open,a major championship at the home of golf, St. Andrews.
She finished with a pair of exquisite birdies on the Old Course on Sunday and closed with an even-par 72. It's her second major on the LPGA Tour, and it ends a record streak of 10 straight majors won by Asian players.