I generally do not cover much in my blog about the LPGA Tour but wanted to include this post about Lexi Thompson. Coming off a weekend where Michelle Wie captured her first major championship victory many other bloggers are writing about her and deservedly so. She deserved to win and played a great US Open championship. However, Lexi Thompson is playing great and for such a young player she continues to stand out. I first watched her play last fall in the Solheim Cup and was immediately impressed. She plays a fearless, aggressive style of golf. The style of golf most great champions play. The style of golf that wins major championships not “The Screen Door Open” as Lee Trevino would say.
At the Kraft Nabisco Championship this spring she sprang to the top of the leaderboard in impressive style. That is when I first noticed “the look”. When Raymond Floyd was in his prime he had “the stare”. That is what I liken Lexi’s look to. They say the window to the soul is through the eyes. If that is the case then I think the LPGA tour better pay very close attention to this young lady. Not only is she one of the longest players on tour, she is one of the most aggressive. She hits driver where others layup, she attacks pins instead of aiming for the middle of the green and she is out there to hole putts. Now this style of play sometimes backfires on days when the player’s timing is slightly off. People might say that she is just young and that her game will mature. That she will learn how to manage the course and her game better. That may be true and there is no doubt she will continue to progress as a professional. What stands out to me though is the internal drive and desire to win. She possesses a competitive spirit that cannot be taught by a swing guru or sports psychologist. These are intangibles that make a player not just good but great. That is what I see in her stare. The fact that she has this look while under pressure during a major championship says a lot.
I can think of a few other great champions who had an intense stare under pressure; Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Tiger Woods and Tom Watson. I am not trying to compare her career to these great professionals. What I am saying is that if you watch Lexi closely the next time she is on TV; keep an eye out for the stare. I think that stare is an expression that’s says, here I come, I am playing to win and I will do whatever it takes to bring home this championship.
It will be fun to watch Lexi mature as a champion and she if she can continue to translate this look into more wins. I would be very surprised if it did not. Who knows she may be the next American player to hold the #1 in world ranking.