CHASKA, MINNESOTA | The search often seems fruitless. Who will be the women’s version of Tiger, the dominant figure who ticks all the right boxes and moves the needle in a way that transcends the sport? Nancy Lopez did it to a degree in the late 1970s, putting women’s golf in the minds of sports fans who might not have otherwise paid a moment’s attention. That was a different time, but Lopez, with a big smile, an engaging personality and a great backstory of hardscrabble Mexcian-immigrant can-do-ism, elevated eyeballs and interest in the LPGA.
For the next four decades, great players have filtered through the LPGA ranks with the popularity of the tour ebbing and flowing (there are more fans now than ever before), but there hasn’t been a next Nancy or the women’s version of Tiger.
Former Women’s British Open champion Karen Stupples had a thoughtful perspective on why.
“I think there are needle movers in every country that the LPGA has,” said Stupples, now a Golf Channel commentator. “Brooke Henderson moves the needle in Canada...
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