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Postcard from Hawaii

LPGA Tour _newThe 2009 LPGA season is off to a fantastic start. If we learned anything from this first full-field event, it's that the future of the LPGA Tour is very bright.
Stacy Lewis and Vicky Hurst: You will hear a lot more from these rookies throughout the year. Though they struggled in the final round of the SBS Open, both possess the talent and presence to make an immediate impact. I had the opportunity to watch both of them in the opening round and they carried themselves quietly and unassuming; yet, their confidence was apparent. Well beyond their years, reminiscent of a young Paula Creamer that won two events her rookie year, they go about their business as if they have been on the tour for years. If they had any fear at all, you certainly couldn't see it.
Michelle Wie: The comment was said all week long... 'It just looks like she is having more fun!' Yes, it sure did. Amongst the intense stares in her pre-shot routine, the impassioned rhythm of her fist pumps, and her eventual grimace of defeat, there were smiles. It did appear that Wie, a rookie, had a new perspective. It wasn't overt, rather it was something you could not quite put your finger on ' but something was different. Perhaps, it was the fact that she earned her way into the field. You definitely get the sense that this is an accomplishment of which she is very that no one, not even her harshest critics, can take away. Wie will win. It's not a matter of if, but when.
Angela Stanford: Here is a player that has gradually formed the confidence that it takes to repeatedly win amongst the world's best. Most players believe that they can win ' doing it is another story. When I spoke with Angela before the final round, I was immediately struck by her direct responses. There was no false pretense or forced bravado. She would answer the question ' nothing more, nothing less. It was obvious to me, that she had found her place...a calm, confident, aware place, that allows her to relax and play the game. Often, we focus on players' physical skills and their ability to simply get the ball into the hole. These are the tangibles of the sport, things that we can dissect and explain. Whereas, many times the true keys to their victory lie within the players themselves...not their swing. In my opinion, Stanford's win was not because of what she did on the course, but of where she was in her mind before she had even teed it up.