BETHLEHEM, Pa. – While Stacy Lewis hit balls on the range Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Women’s Open, her father watched from a distance.
A year ago, Dale Lewis was on Stacy’s bag as caddie, enjoying a close-up view as his daughter made a terrific bid to win the championship just 17 days after turning pro out of the University of Arkansas, where she was a four-time All-American.
Now that Stacy’s is playing the LPGA as a rookie, dad will be watching this week from outside the ropes at Saucon Valley Country Club’s Old Course.
“I think I’ll be more nervous out here than I was inside the ropes,” he said.
Lewis, who six years ago had a metal rod fastened to her backbone to repair the damage caused by scoliosis, led the U.S. Women’s Open after 54 holes last year. She ended up tying for third. Asked his best memory of their run together, Dale said it was probably when they reached the 16th green in the third round.
“She tapped me on the arm and pointed at a big, old scoreboard there and says, `Look, dad, I’m leading the U.S. Open,’” Dale said. “That was a pretty good moment.”
Dale and Stacy were considered one of the better father/daughter tandems when they worked together during her amateur career. Dale said it's partly due to Stacy's taking control of her golf. At the U.S. Women's Amateur in 2006, Dale said Stacy stopped him before he got out of the car at the golf course parking lot.
'She told me, `When you get out of the car, you are a caddie. When you get back in the car, you're my dad again,'' Dale said.