Seeking first win of year, Lewis 1 back in China

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Stacy Lewis battled through heavy winds and tough conditions Saturday to move into position to win her first title this season.

With a 1-over-par 73 at the Blue Bay LPGA on Hainan Island in China, Lewis pulled one shot behind the co-leaders, Sei Young Kim (74) and Candie Kung (73).

An 11-time LPGA winner, Lewis has been frustrated in bids to claim her 12th title. While she has consistently put herself in the hunt this year, she hasn’t been able to add a title since claiming the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship 16 months ago.

“You look at what I've done this year, I've had opportunities to make it a really good year,” Lewis said in Taiwan last week. “Even as frustrating as it has been, you get a win and it kind of turns a pretty frustrating year into a pretty good one. I'd like to be in the top three going into CME so that I kind of control my own destiny there.”

Lewis has finished second five times this year, losing twice in playoffs, once to Brittany Lincicome at the ANA Inspiration and once to Lydia Ko at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. Lewis has finished third three times this season, including the U.S. Women’s Open.

Forced to change golf balls for the first time in six years, Lewis says there were more challenges than she expected making the adjustment at year’s start. She played the 2009 version of the Titleist ProV1x ever since it came out, but Titleist pulled it off the conforming list at the end of last year. Lewis has been trying different versions of the Bridgestone 330 this year.

“I’m trying to get that trust and that confidence back that I lost kind of in the middle of the year,” Lewis said.

Lewis, No. 3 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, is third on the LPGA money list this season, third in Race to the CME Globe points and third in scoring average.