Lewis relishes becoming part of St. Andrews history

By Randall MellJuly 8, 2014, 9:51 pm

Stacy Lewis’ 5-iron shot fell out of the heavens with a thump so glorious her swing coach could feel it halfway around the world.

Joe Hallett was visiting friends in St. Louis when Lewis carved her brilliant shot at the Road Hole through more than buffeting winds at St. Andrews when she won the Ricoh Women’s British Open last year. Riveted to a television, Hallet relished seeing his player work a shot through air as thick with history as there is in golf. He saw her hit one of the greatest shots ever played in a major championship.

Hallett couldn’t contain his joy when Lewis’ little draw bounded to within 3 feet at No. 17 in that iconic setting at the home of golf.

“I leaped a lot higher than Phil Mickelson did when he made that putt to win the Masters,” Hallett cracked. “I’m sure the people living above my friends could hear me yell and the people living downstairs could hear the thud of my feet coming down after I leaped. It was a great shot.”

It was the greatest shot of Lewis’ young golfing life as it would set up her dreamy birdie-birdie finish and second major championship title.

“The 5-iron is the best shot of my career,” Lewis told GolfChannel.com. “That shot and the putt on 17 at Kraft are my two most memorable. The putt was probably more important, just because of it being my first win, and what it has now led to. The 5-iron shot will be a shot I will remember for the rest of my career.”

Women’s British Open: Articles, videos and photos

The putt Lewis is referring to was the big bending 20-foot birdie at the 71st hole of the Kraft Nabisco Championship three years ago, when she chased down Yani Tseng to make her first LPGA title a major. Her 5-iron at St. Andrews last summer helped her chase down Na Yeon Choi and join Lorena Ochoa as the only players to win the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews.

“The best part of winning at St Andrews was becoming a part of their history,” Lewis said.

Lewis, the Rolex world No. 1, will tee it up at Royal Birkdale this week looking to win her fourth title of the year. Michelle Wie, who has become a friend to Lewis, says there’s a fire driving Lewis every time she tees it up.

“I think she's really motivated,” Wie said. “When I see Stacy, even if she finished fourth, she's still really motivated. She's pissed off that she was fourth place, and I really admire that. Her work ethic is just unbelievable. It definitely inspires me to work harder, every time I see her in the gym, every time I see her on the golf course.”

Lewis used that fire to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2013.

Three shots down to Choi with six holes to go, Lewis kept pressing. She made her big move at the Road Hole, where she was two shots down standing on the 17th tee box. That’s where she striped a tough drive into the fairway, 189 yards from the hole. The wind there was blowing briskly from right to left, and there was a delay waiting for the green to clear, giving her plenty of time to talk over the shot with her caddie, Travis Wilson.

“I’m not really sure what I was thinking before, we were both pretty relaxed,” Lewis said. “We just talked about the shot like we normally do, but the number was perfect for the shot type that it required. I have this shot, I call my flat shot, where I’m trying to swing shorter and flatter, so the ball comes off lower, and with less spin. And when we talked through the yardage and how we needed the ball to react, I told Travis it’s the flat 5 and he said `That’s perfect.’”

The swing was perfect, with her shot landing just at the front of the green and bounding to 3 feet. With Choi making bogey behind her, a two-shot swing rode on Lewis making the birdie putt.

“At the time I wasn’t thinking about winning the tournament, I just was trying to post a number, because I knew I needed some help from the girls behind me,” Lewis said. “The hardest part of that shot is the small area you have in front of that green to run it up. There’s just such a small margin for error. I picked a shot that if I hit good, it would get up on front of the green somewhere, and if I missed it, I would have a chip from short of the green. But, I honestly felt very relaxed over the shot. I was more nervous over the putt. The putt had a ton of break, and I didn’t want to miss it after hitting such a great shot in.”

Lewis played the rest of the year with that 5-iron, a Mizuno JPX 825 Pro, but it is retired today, stored away at her South Florida home with all the putters she keeps from her victories.

“I will end up getting rid of the rest of the set of irons, eventually, but the 5-iron will be something I will keep for the rest of my life,” Lewis said. “That club is important to me because it allowed me to become a part of history. I did something that only one other female golfer has done at the home of golf. Anyone that knows me knows that I love the history of the game and have so much respect for all those that paved the way for me to play, and now it’s really cool to think that I am a part of that history and paving the way for future generations.”

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm