Stacy's Back Again
By Torleif Sorenson on 8/5/13

St. Andrews has another worthy major champion

Stacy Lewis, who has already climbed over the hurdles of scoliosis and major back surgery that cost her a year of her collegiate golf career, outlasted the rest of the field on Sunday in a grueling 36-hole final day over the game's most historic course. Lewis captured the 2013 Women's British Open in style.

In the first round on Thursday, shot an impressive 67 (one off the Women's British Open course record at St. Andrews) to get into a seven-way logjam tie for third place. A two-bogey, two-birdie 72 on Friday put her in a tie for 8th, five shots back of last year's U.S. Women's Open champion, Na Yeon Choi.

Skies were clear on Saturday, but 40-m.p.h. winds made the Old Course at St. Andrews unplayable, forcing everyone to go 36 holes on Sunday. Organizers decided to forego a re-pairing between the third and fourth rounds.

When the third round began early Sunday morning, Lewis roared out of the tee-box with birdies at five of the first 15 holes. Two consecutive bogeys brought her back to finish with a three-under 69; her -8 (208) put her just one shot behind another American, Morgan Pressel. In the fourth round, she see-sawed back-and-forth over a tough layout.

Lewis hit a magnificent knock-down five-iron that flew against the wind just long enough to hit the green, but not go over. Arguably, it was the best shot of the tournament, although the ESPN Sportscenter anchor, in narrating the highlight, clearly failed to understand the extreme difficulty of the shot. From three feet, Lewis nailed the birdie putt, and then birdied the 18th to vault her to victory by two strokes over the aforementioned Choi and Hee Young Park, also from South Korea.
"It's unbelievable. It all happened so fast at the end. You're afraid for every shot, and all of a sudden you make a couple of birdies and it's over."
What was equally stunning was the collapse of the pre-tournament favorite, Inbee Park, who had already gone 3-for-3 in major championships this year. And while she shot 69 after the first round, her Friday 73 put her eight shots behind the lead at the 36-hole cut. On Sunday, Park simply fell apart with a 74-78 finish that left her 14 shots behind Lewis.

At this point, Inbee Park remains the number one-ranked women's golfer in the world, per the Rolex Rankings, but Lewis gained 92.45 points on Sunday and is ranked number two. She seems to have a certain affinity for the Old Course; Lewis became the first golfer ever to 5-0 at the Curtis Cup when the 2008 matches were held at St. Andrews.

Amazingly, Lewis's web site, has not been updated since mid-March, when she won the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. Somebody at Sterling Sports Management in Columbus needs to get off their butt and update her site, for crying out loud!

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Image via Wikipedia, Wojciech Migda

[ comments ]
falcon50driver says:
Yea 'mericans!
mantajim says:
Whoo! Pig! Shooie!
Matt McGee says:
Stacy's sure fun to watch when she's on her game.
[ post comment ]
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