Notes Star Starting Over Tigers Drug Issue

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AT&T NationalBETHESDA, Md. -- Stacy Lewis got her professional career off to an amazing start.
 
Now she gets to start over.
 
In a policy that no longer makes sense, Lewis will not get credit for her tie for third in the U.S. Womens Open as she tries to earn enough money to get her LPGA Tour card without going to Q-school.
 
The only thing that could have helped me was to win, Lewis said at Interlachen, where she had a one-shot lead going into the final round and closed with a 78 to finish five shots behind Inbee Park.
 
Lewis earned $162,487, which would have been enough to finish the year equal to 80th on the LPGA Tour money list. She is playing in the Northwest Arkansas Championship this week, one of a maximum six events she can play to earn enough money.
 
She also will play the Jamie Farr Classic next week, and on Tuesday received a sponsors exemption to the LPGA Kapalua Classic on Maui. Her agent, Jeff Chilcoat of Sterling Sports Management, said he is working on three other tournaments.
 
I think it should be revisited, he said of the policy. And frankly, Id love to have it revisited retroactively. But I dont anticipate it being changed for her.
 
Starting in 2003, the LPGA expanded the maximum number of sponsor exemptions for non-members from four to six tournaments, and counted only domestic tournaments with at least 75 players in the field toward the money list. The U.S. Womens Open didnt count, because it is not co-sponsored by the LPGA.
 
The policy favors rank-and-file LPGA members, noting that non-members who want to earn a card without going to Q-school should have to compete in fields comprised almost entirely of LPGA members.
 
The fear was that someone could have one big week at the richest event in womens golf and get a card, for prize money at the Womens Open used to dwarf everything else. While the Womens Open purse of $3.1 million remains the largest, there are a dozen other LPGA events with at least $2 million in prize money.
 
Lewis doesnt fit the profile of a fluke.
 
She has a trophy from the Northwest Arkansas Championship, where she shot 65 last year before the tournament was washed out by rain and erased from the records. She tied for fifth in the Kraft Nabisco Championship last year as a junior at Arkansas, where she later won an NCAA title.
 
Now, she can only hope three more tournaments have room for her to compete.
 
TIGERS TEST RUN
Tiger Woods is still a candidate for drug testing, even though he will not be competing the rest of the year. But he already knows what to expect, having gone through private testing.
 
Ive done it twice, actually, Woods said.
 
Why did he require two tests?
 
Woods didnt say when the tests were conducted, but both came back negative. After the first test was clean, he said he changed the brand of amino acid as part of his nutrition program, and wanted to make sure the change didnt alter the results. He said the second test came back negative, too.
 
GRAND STAGE
Jessica Korda found herself in quite the arena Sunday at Interlachen, where the 15-year-old had the low round of the final round at 4-under 69 and tied for 19th. Later that afternoon, she stood along the ropes with her younger sister to watch the last group.
 
She has seen big crowds at a Grand Slam event before.
 
Korda was 5 when her father, Petr Korda, beat Marcel Rios to win the 1998 Australian Open in tennis.
 
I just remember I was coloring when he came into the stands and got us, she said.
 
Petr Korda was her caddie last week, and could not have been more proud. He tried his three children in tennis, but Jessica liked golf.
 
She never wanted to play tennis. She never wanted to sweat, he said. And that was good, because she would not have to carry the name. Now she can set her own goals.
 
And what was it like going from center court to being a caddie?
 
My stage is over, Korda said. Im very happy to be supporting her now.
 
CADDIE CHANGES
Steve Stricker showed up at Congressional with a new caddie, saying longtime friend Tom Mitchell decided to take a break to spend more time with his young family. Stricker picked up Jimmie Johnson, who previously worked for Nick Price and most recently was on the bag for Charles Howell III.
 
Johnson, however, is still auditioning. Stricker said he might try a couple of other caddies the rest of the year, and he already knows one who will work for him at the PGA Championship'his wife, Nicki.
 
She was his caddie when he won the Kemper Open for his first PGA Tour victory in 1996, and continued to work for him until they had their first child in 1998.
 
Shes fired up and excited to do it again, and Im excited to have her out here, Stricker said.
 
Meanwhile, Ernie Els has fired J.P. Fitzgerald and has gone back to Ricci Roberts, the caddie who worked for him when he won all three of his majors. This is at least the third time Roberts has been rejoined the South African.
 
Weve obviously got a long and successful track record together'one of the best in the business, in fact, Els said. Hopefully, there are many more wins to come.
 
CONGRESSIONAL FUTURE
The board of directors at Congressional Country Club has recommended a three-year contract to host the AT&T National starting in 2012, with an option for three more years that will take it to 2017, The Washington Post reported.
 
It still requires approval from the full membership, but tournament host Tiger Woods liked the development.
 
I want our golf tournament to be there for perpetuity, Woods said. It is an unbelievable golf course, and in our nations capitol, on our nations birthday. The stars couldnt get aligned even more than what it is. Hopefully, we can keep it there.
 
DIVOTS
Stacy Lewis signed an endorsement contract Tuesday with Mizuno, the only American woman paid to play its clubs. Lorena Ochoa has joined Golf Digest as a playing editor, a deal that includes her contributions to Golf Digest and Golf For Women magazines. She will provide instruction and feature content. Hazeltine will be stretched to over 7,700 yards when the PGA Championship returns there next year. Among the holes that have lengthened are No. 12, which can play as long as 545 yards as a par 4.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Seven of Kenny Perrys 11 victories have come at three tournaments'three times at the Memorial, twice each at the Buick Open and Colonial.
 
FINAL WORD
Youre up against an absolute freak and thats tough. But at the same time, hes making us so much money its a joke. We can only be thankful for the way hes played the game.'Robert Allenby on playing in the Tiger Woods era.
 

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