The Heroics of Texas Continue in Oregon as Stacy Lewis Donates Winnings
The LPGA tournament that takes place every year in my hometown came around again this week, and this year, everything is a little more special than usual. For one thing, I don’t get to see my hometown very often anymore. Secondly, I’m almost there today, sitting just across the river in Vancouver, Washington. I can almost see the course where the Cambria Classic finished up today, the Columbia Edgewater Country Club, and yet I couldn’t go that last mile and actually attend this year. It’s hotter than usual in Portland, but the trees are still magnificent, the water picturesque, and the golf competitive. Another reason for it being a special day is that Stacy Lewis came out of a three-year slump to win the Cambra at Columbia Edgewater, nestled on the banks of the mighty Columbia. Lewis was the number one in the world back in 2013 for a period of several weeks, and then again a year later. Since then, she’s had some trouble putting it all together. This week, though, it’s been 70, 64, 65. 69, and that’s pretty good for putting it together. Edging out In Gee Chun wasn’t easy – it rarely is, but Lewis pulled it out in the end.
Another thing worthy of celebrating is that Lewis took her win in Portland to a whole new level. She grew up in the Houston area, and before the tournament started, announced that she would donate all her potential winnings to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Four days later, that’s a figure just shy of $200,000. I have no doubt whatsoever about how Stacy Lewis feels toward donating such an amount to victims of a natural disaster. She feels downright great about it. She’s sending money back home, to her neighborhood, her city, and her state, which has shown an extraordinary amount of mutual heroism over the past two weeks.
What the cause of her reemergence is, only Lewis can probably tell. There was a time when I thought she was nearly invincible, and despite the heft of the talent pool, would always be around the top somewhere. Her temporary disappearance was a surprise. But then, so was the exit of Yani Tseng. When Lydia Ko goes too many weeks without winning something, I start to say the same things, falling into the trap of “Whatever happened to…” Sometimes, it’s difficult for me to remember that these are young people by my standards, even the veterans. Fading from the top view for a little while doesn’t mean that they are gone forever. Golfers go through their patterns, cycles, and biorhythms the same as everyone else, and it doesn’t take much to make a great talent act like just a good one for a bit. Even though the game starts with a fresh scorecard each week, I can at least say for this week that Stacy Lewis is back. I doubt we’ve seen the last of her. can also say that she has brought a bonus to the LPGA. In addition to her inspiring gift, Commissioner Mike Whan has donated all the ticket sales as well to the Harvey victims.
This is one of those weeks in which I really wish I could have been there. The course is lush and gorgeous, the city is acting in general like a beautiful city should, I still love the game of golf regardless of my advancing years, and those who have are reaching out to help those who have had it all taken away. From neighbors with private boats to Oregon golf courses, Texas and Texans are doing some noble work this week, and the return of Texan Stacey Lewis is a welcome one.