Column: Fassi embraces expectations and wants to be a star

CHASKA, Minn. (AP) — Maria Fassi only went to the golf course to watch her two older brothers.

They lived near the Club de Golf in Pachuca, about an hour north of Mexico City, and their mother wanted them active in as many sports as possible. Lorena Ochoa was just starting her rise to No. 1 in the world. Even so, golf was never a priority in soccer-mad Mexico.

“I don’t think it’s a sport a kid would say, ‘Hey, Dad, I want to play golf,'” Fassi said. “We lived at a golf course in Pachuca, nine holes. I would go with my brothers to watch them hit. From there, the head pro says, ‘You come here, but you never hit.’ So I started swinging at it. And I really liked it.”

And now the golf world is watching her, curious what her dynamic swing and personality can do for the LPGA Tour.

Suzy Whaley, the president of the PGA of America, played with Fassi in the pro-am for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and declared her to be “the next superstar of the LPGA.”

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan made it a point to introduce himself to the 21-year-old rookie on the range at Hazeltine because, as he told her, “I’ve never heard more people talk more about one player than you.”

Such hype requires…

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