by Jeff Skinner
In a hard fought final round at the HSBC Women’s Champions Stacy Lewis held off her charging opponents and hung on to win her first tournament of the year.
Lewis, the top American golfer finished with a par on the last to top Na Yeon Choi by a stroke and Paula Creamer by two. Lewis made it closer than she would have wished as she gave away her three stroke lead with bogeys on 15 and 17.
Lewis, who will move up to number three in the Rolex Rankings changed her strategy on the par five final hole.
“All week, I played it as a three-shot hole, laying back short of the bunker and then laying up from there. And I saw where Paula reamer hit her drive past the bunker and I turned to my caddie, and we both at the same time said driver, and I let it rip and that thing got so far down there. I think I was actually in between a 4-iron and a hybrid. So we erred on the long side and hit hybrid up on the green, and I thought I made my second putt, but just to have an inside ten feet for birdie, that’s all I was asking for.”
There was plenty of pressure playing in the last group.
“The last four or five holes, I was pretty nervous, I’m not going to lie,” Lewis said. “That golf course is hard and it can jump up and get you at any second, and to have to play with two great players on your tail all day, and they played unbelievable, and none of us really we just couldn’t get any putts to fall on the back nine. I don’t know what it was. Edges just seemed a little bit tighter. Paula had a couple on the edge.
“I don’t know, I just played hard and put my head down and tried to make as many putts as I could, and fortunately I came away with the win.”
The win is just what Lewis needed as the LPGA heads back home to the states and starts its run to their first major the Kraft Nabisco.