Lewis poised to take over No. 1 ranking with win


Stacy Lewis is getting tired of talking about returning to No. 1.

She’s eager to do something about it Sunday in the final round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

With an 8-under-par 63 on Saturday, Lewis took advantage of good scoring conditions in the morning at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club’s Bay Course, shooting to the top of the leaderboard and staying there all day.

At 12-under overall, Lewis goes into the final round with a one-shot lead on Christina Kim (67) and a two-shot lead on Jennifer Johnson (70).

Notably, Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park is tied for seventh after posting a 70 in the more difficult afternoon scoring conditions, with winds up and the course firming up. Park was within three shots of Lewis before closing her round with three bogeys over the final five holes. She will start Sunday six shots behind Lewis.

That’s notable because if Rolex world No. 2 Lewis wins Sunday, she will ascend to No. 1, ending Park’s 59-week run atop the Rolex rankings.

Lewis can also get to No. 1 if she finishes solo second, as long as Park doesn’t win. And Lewis can get to No. 1 if she finishes solo third, as long as Park finishes worse than fifth.

“Honestly, kind of tired of hearing all the scenarios, and hearing everybody talk about it,” Lewis told reporters Saturday. “I would like to take care of that here this week, especially with the [U.S. Women’s] Open coming up and all that, just would like to go in there without having to deal with all these extra storylines that people like to make.”

Park took the No. 1 ranking from Lewis in April of last year. Lewis wants it back.

“It would be huge,” Lewis said. “I was only there for four weeks last year. It was so crazy those four weeks, I never got to enjoy it. So, I definitely want to get back, because I know kind of now more what to expect with it.”

Lydia Ko, the 17-year-old from New Zealand who already owns three LPGA titles, also entered this week with a chance to move to No. 1, but she struggled Saturday, shooting 75. She’s tied for 52nd, 13 shots behind Lewis.

Michelle Wie shot 72 in the afternoon winds and is tied for 19th, nine shots off the lead.

Kim is seeking to build on an inspiring comeback from woes that included bouts of depression and back and elbow injuries, maladies that helped her slump to 110th on the LPGA money list in 2012, forcing her to return to Q-School to win back her tour playing privileges. Kim is looking to win her third LPGA title, her first since 2005.

“I'm back on my way up,” Kim said. “I'm healthy, I'm happy, I'm in a good place.”