by Jeff Skinner
Somewhere Stacy Lewis’ ears are ringing. And maybe her face is a bit red and she’s taking a deep breath and counting to ten, or at least she should be.
Today marks another day that the best American golfer on the LPGA continues to get disrespected. The boys of Golf Channel’s Morning Drive when asked to name the most important women on the LPGA all failed to name Lewis. Garry Williams and Damon Hack chose Michelle Wie and Charlie Rymer named Paula Creamer.
Now, I do not dispute the ability of Wie and Creamer to attract viewers to the LPGA as they are two of the most popular and recognizable faces on the LPGA but Lewis is the best American golfer right now.
She is the third ranked player in the world and poised to overtake number one Yani Tseng. She is the reigning LPGA Player of the Year and the first American to claim it since 1994. She was the last American to win a major championship, just came off a win in Singapore and is bearing down on the Kraft Nabisco Championship where she won her first major in 2011. Her next win may very well move her ahead of Yani Tseng into the number one spot in the Rolex Rankings.
Did I mention that this is a woman who spends her off season taking charity trips to help out in Africa? Oh, and please remember that Lewis is lucky to be playing golf at all, no less winning against the best in the world. She battled scoliosis and as a teen and spent years in a back brace before she had to have a steel rod and screws implanted in her back. Could there be a more attractive story of heart and perseverance on the LPGA?
Previously, Cristie Kerr had the reputation of being the bulldog of American players. A player that could win by sheer will and determination, a player that seized the moments when the pressure was the greatest. Stacy Lewis is now that bulldog.
I acknowledge Wie and Creamer’s importance to the tour if they are playing well and Paula has found her came lately. But no American is playing better than Lewis and an American on top of the USA based LPGA is important, not necessary, but important and Lewis is that player. We are not talking about potential or possibilities, we are are talking results.
Stacy Lewis is the best American golfer on the LPGA and right now the most important. Give her the respect she deserves.