Michelle Wie and Stacy Lewis have finally renewed their friendly LPGA Tour rivalry – and they had to travel halfway around the world to make it happen. Perhaps the two most popular American female golfers, Wie and Lewis briefly appeared to finally be kicking off a Tiger-Mickelson type of high level competition earlier this season. But Wie’s game fell apart as Lewis struggled, then Lewis started taking some of the tour’s Asian stops off even as Wie returned to action. Now finally, as the Fubon tournament in Taiwan, both are playing at the same time – and both are in contention.
Stacy Lewis finds herself at five under after one round in Taipei, while Michelle Wie is positioned at four under par. They’re both back a bit from the top of the mountain, where two other players are currently tied at eight under. But with Lewis and Wie both on their games so far this weekend, the LPGA Tour can finally feel some degree of optimism that the two may indeed be re-finding their games at the same time. That can turn into serious ratings potential if the two golfers are indeed playing at the top of their games by the time the Tour comes back stateside.
For now, relatively few Americans are seeing either golfer in action. Because the tournament is in Taiwan, live broadcasts in the United States are airing in the middle of the night. But perhaps it’s just as well. Even as the Michelle Wie vs Stacy Lewis begins to gain traction, the audiences can come later. For now, the key is for both players to continue competing strong beyond simply the first day. In the mean time, the Taiwan tournament heads into day two with plenty of golfers in contention.