by Jeff Skinner
In the third round of the Founders Cup Lewis was assessed a two stroke penalty when her caddie “tested the surface” in a bunker at the sixteenth hole. It moved her to four shots behind leader Ai Miyazato and jeopardized her chances of victory. Her caddie was devastated but Lewis shrugged it off and said it was just more motivation on Sunday.
The drama continued today at the sixteenth hole but it was the leader Miyazato who succumbed to the heat in the desert as she stumbled to a double bogey and allowed a charging Lewis to overtake her for the lead.
Where the sixteenth hole almost stalled Lewis’ run to the top on Saturday, on Sunday it was the scene of a three stroke swing and the pivotal hole in her accession to number one. While Miyazato struggled on sixteen, Lewis carded her eighth birdie of the day and took a two stroke lead in the tournament.
Lewis was not to be denied as she extended her lead to three strokes with her ninth birdie of the day on the next hole and cruised down eighteen with a three stroke lead and her eyes set on the top spot in the world.
It was Lewis’s seventh career LPGA win and she is the face of women’s golf in America.
Lewis had a wide smile on her face as her dad hugged her and said,”Hey number one in the world.” Lewis was humble afterwards but not shy about expressing her desire to be number one. This has been her goal since she started on tour in 2008.
After the debacle at sixteen she was ready to play today. “I wasn’t lacking for motivation. Travis (caddie) felt horrible last night and I felt bad for him. I wanted to go out and play good for him.”
She embraced the pressure of becoming number one, “It’s unbelievable. To play as well as I did when the pressure’s on…when I knew I had to win to be number one. That’s what I’m most satisfied with. It’s pretty cool to be number one in the world.”
Lewis has two wins and three top tens in four 2013 events and is primed for the upcoming majors. She has a confidence that will help her as the pressure builds at the Kraft Nabisco in two weeks.