If commissioner Mike Whan got an early Christmas present with Michelle Wie's first LPGA win late last year, then he got and even better Independence Day gift when Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer(below) won majors in convincing style over the last month. While the LPGA's membership and business model are undoubtedly global, its home is still the U.S. With the tour's headquarters reportedly moving to Orlando in the next year and O-town also the front-runner to host November's Tour Championship, an event that still needs a title sponsor, the time seems ripe to take that American momentum and turn it into homegrown tournament growth with global possibilities. There are no better shoulders on which to rest that responsibility than Kerr's and Creamer's.
This is an article from the July 26, 2010 issue
• Speaking of Creamer, her 0-for-24 major record was beginning to weigh on her 23-year-old shoulders. Perhaps a forced four-month break from the game after risky but necessary thumb surgery gave her the perspective she needed. Her preparation for Oakmont was fanatic, including extra practice rounds, calling NBC for tapes from the 2007 U.S. Open and even picking Arnold Palmer's brain for local knowledge. It was a great win for Creamer, but could be even bigger for the game. This victory could get American girls hooked on golf again, the way Nancy Lopez did for girls of my generation and Se Ri Pak did for young Koreans with her two major wins in '98. In 10 to 15 years there may be a lot of women attempting to win majors who grew up idolizing Creamer's dogged but feminine tenacity.
Dottie Pepper, a 17-year LPGA veteran, is an analyst for NBC.