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Aug 06

Stacy Lewis – Back Where She Belongs

Stacy Lewis Extreme Competitor

I am an unashamed fan of professional women’s golf. There isn’t a player on the tour who isn’t interesting, which means there’s never a boring tournament for me, no matter who is winning it. I like the parity of tour quality – there is obviously a list of players who tend toward being the greatest in their field, but seeing the same people winning every week is never a guarantee, plus there is always a new wave of fresh faces threatening to dethrone present champions.

Stacy Lewis I am also not ashamed to say that, like every other spectator, I have a list of favorites, and have no hesitation in stating who they are, or why. Based on previous comments, it should be clear as day that Stacy Lewis is one of them. Although I try not to overwrite on specific individuals, I didn’t have any choice during the times when Lewis was winning with regularity, and here she is again. I, for one, am delighted to plunge into another discourse on this woman I view as one of the greats-to-be.

We don’t need to drone through her story again, which is full of determination, focus and passion. We don’t need to drone through her statistics, or make silly comparisons to other players, past and present. Stacy Lewis is Stacy Lewis – there’s not another like her.

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Over the past few months, I wondered where she’d gone, and at the same time, understood that she hadn’t really gone anywhere. She was still there on the leaderboard, easy to find if I started at the top and read down. The former #1 in the world was never far away from that ranking, and has now either reclaimed it, or is threatening to. Inbee Park has done an awful lot of history-making, so she might still own the crown, but we shouldn’t hold our collective breath.

stacy 1Lewis’s victory, in terms of actual score, would not appear to be extraordinary, unless someone had watched the tournament. She ended up with a 72, respectable, to be sure, but not usually noteworthy. However, we must consider that Lewis was the only player under par through 20 groups, and came into the final few holes three back of the lead.

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Knowing that automatically suggests that the frontrunners imploded en masse, but Lewis wasn’t going to sit around and hope for that. She’s a proactive player, and took some proactive measures to grab hold of this championship. In one of the finest shots of her career, she landed a five-iron three feet from the 17th pin, as if she had just walked up and dropped it there – gutsy, no two ways about it.

She took a similarly aggressive approach on 18 after signaling her intent to caddie Travis Wilson – “”one more.” That shot didn’t work out all that well, but Lewis rolled in a 25 footer for a second final birdie. It seemed to fit in with the generally good karma she enjoys with the course at St. Andrews. It likes her despite liking few others, and Lewis feels the same.

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To date, Stacy has only won two majors, which is a ridiculous statement unless we are speaking of a great golfer, and we are. I believe that there are more majors to come. Stacy Lewis has a boatload of talent, like others on tour, but her particular brand of insistence is unique. She liked nothing better than to be the one who stopped Inbee Park’s string. When the word ‘competitor’ comes up, she takes it with extreme seriousness, and despite, by all accounts, being a lovely person, she is ruthless on the course. There’s no doubt about it – Stacy’s back where she belongs.

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About the author

G.F. Skipworth

has spent every available moment playing golf or studying the greats since the 60s, in between world tours as a classical musician, Harvard studies in Government or as the author of a dozen novels. Nicklaus and Snead may be the statistical greats, but Skipworth is a life-long devotee of Gary Player, and considers meeting the South African at the Jeld-Wen to be an unforgettable milestone. His driving passion in golf these days is to raise viewer interest in the LPGA.