Lewis and Wie: Rivals, opposites, close friends

By Doug FergusonJuly 8, 2014, 11:18 pm

SOUTHPORT, England - The friendly matches in South Florida can involve as many as eight players, with teams decided by drawing names from a hat.

Michelle Wie would seem to be a great pick, except for the timing.

''We usually play in the morning and then go have lunch,'' Stacy Lewis said Tuesday. ''And she usually gets very focused on the lunch and kind of doesn't pay attention to the whole golf side of it. She'll tell you the same thing.''

Wie laughed when told the story Lewis shared. Wie loves her golf and works hard at it. She also loves her food so much that before dinner gets to the table she's already thinking about the next night's menu.

For two personalities that could not be any more different, Wie and Lewis have become close friends.

One is an artist, the other a technician.

''You go to her house, she's painted everything that's on her walls,'' Lewis said. ''I need my sister to help me decorate.''

One is tall and powerful, the other is compact and precise.

''That's what Stacy is. She's consistent,'' Wie said. ''She's deadly consistent. Annoyingly consistent.''

One thing they have in common is a college diploma, rare in women's golf these days. And even that was different. Lewis graduated from Arkansas before she turned pro. Wie graduated from Stanford more than six years after she turned pro.

They are major champions and Nos. 1-2 on the LPGA Tour money list. And more than any two players, they are leading an American revival in women's golf, which resumes this week at Royal Birkdale.

Lewis began this recent surge of American success in the majors by capturing the Ricoh Women's British Open at St. Andrews last summer. Wie won the U.S. Women's Open last month at Pinehurst No. 2, making it around the Donald Ross greens without a three-putt over 72 holes. She won by two shots over Lewis, who rushed over from the practice range to be among the first to congratulate her.

A week later, Lewis rallied to beat Wie in Arkansas and take over the No. 1 spot on the money list, raising curiosity about a budding rivalry.

It's too early for that, and there are too many other players in the mix.

''I feel very honored that people are putting me up against Stacy - No. 1 in the world, obviously,'' Wie said. ''I don't think you'll find a rivalry where we hate each other or anything. But I want her to do well. I think she wants me to do well. But I think it's fun because we definitely want to beat each other. I don't want to lose to her but at the same time, I was really happy that she won in Arkansas and I think she was really happy I won at the U.S. Open, so I think it's very cool.''

Lewis had to overcome more obstacles. Scoliosis forced her to wear a back brace for 18 hours a day from age 11 until she had surgery to insert a metal rod in her back before heading off to college. She has 11 wins, two majors and is the only American to be LPGA player of the year in the last 20 years.

Wie is the bigger star, the player who makes everyone look when she walks into a room.

''I don't know if anybody could be a female Tiger Woods, but Michelle definitely moves the needle,'' Lewis said. ''I think her playing good golf is good for everyone. It's good for the tour and it's good for the other players. I said the U.S. Open couldn't have been scripted any better. We're on our biggest stage there and our biggest star winning there - and she won't even tell you that, but she is our biggest star. Her winning was huge for us.''

Their paths first crossed at another U.S. Women's Open.

Lewis made her pro debut at Interlachen in 2008 and played in the last group before finishing third. Wie didn't break 80 in the first round and had gone two years without finishing in the top 10 on the LPGA Tour. They played together at Q-school later that year. Lewis was medalist. Wie got the headlines for earning her card.

''I knew as much about her as everybody did, just seeing her on TV and stuff like that,'' Lewis said. ''A lot of players, your perception changes once you meet them.''

They met as teammates on the Solheim Cup. They are now neighbors in Florida. They practice together. They have the same trainer and are motivated by how hard each other works. They spent Fourth of July together. It rained all day, so they hung out all day, talked and set off a few fireworks.

''I don't really know what it is, but I enjoy hanging around her,'' Lewis said. ''It's cool how I've learned a lot from her, how she handles the media and how she's handled the pressures and expectations. She doesn't read anything that anybody writes and she doesn't really care what anybody thinks about her. Wish I could be like that, too.''

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.