Lewis upbeat despite another runner-up finish

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PHOENIX – Stacy Lewis battled to the finish Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but it ended in what has become an all too familiar runner-up finish.

That’s 13 second-place finishes now for Lewis since her last victory at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship 33 months ago.

Lewis closed with a 4-under-par 68, finishing two shots behind Anna Nordqvist, the 54-hole leader.

This wasn’t a crushing defeat, though.

Lewis left sounding encouraged she’s getting her game where she wants it for the ANA Inspiration, the year’s first major championship, in two weeks.

“Hit a lot good shots and didn't quite get rewarded for them,” said Lewis, who tied for second with Ariya Jutanugarn and In Gee Chun. “I played well. Hard to be too upset.”

Lewis was seeking her 12th LPGA title, and she made a strong early run, opening with a pair of birdies to catch Nordqvist, who pulled back ahead with four birdies over the first 13 holes.

Lewis’ best chance on the back nine came over a 15-foot eagle chance at the 15th that would have pulled her within a shot. She two-putted for birdie.

“Good warmup,” Lewis said of her preparations for the ANA Inspiration, which she won as the Kraft Nabisco in 2011.