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Lewis beaten on final hole again, finishes second

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PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Stacy Lewis ran her streak of top-10 finishes to a dozen Sunday at the LPGA’s season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.

You couldn’t have blamed her if she also wanted to run her fist through a wall.

Leading the event with two holes to go, Lewis ended up finishing second to Jessica Korda, undone by the 18th hole yet again. It’s the fourth time in the last four months that Lewis has been beaten by a birdie or eagle at the last hole. She has four second-place finishes in her last seven starts.

Last month at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, Pornanong Phatlum beat Lewis with a birdie at the 18th hole. The month before that, Lexi Thompson won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational beating Lewis with a birdie at the last hole. The month before that, Shanshan Feng won the Reignwood Classic in China beating Lewis with an eagle at the last hole.

“It's very frustrating,” Lewis said. “I've had so many chances to win.  It's very frustrating, but to finish second a lot of weeks in a row, you're not doing anything really wrong. That's what I'm taking out of this, I'm doing a lot of stuff right. There are more events and there are bigger tournaments this summer, so I'm just going to take this momentum from here.”

Lewis might have been frustrated, but she patiently answered every question from the media afterward.

With Korda making birdie behind her at the 17th hole, Lewis knew she needed to birdie the 18th to pull ahead. She hit her approach at the 18th over the green. She couldn’t get up and down for birdie from there, hitting her chip heavy and leaving it 12 feet short and missing the putt.

“There was kind of a clump of grass right behind the ball, and there was more underneath than I thought,” Lewis said. “Taking practice swings, I thought I was going to kind of pop through there pretty good, but it just came out really fluffy.”

Lewis started the day four shots off the lead but charged boldly. She made birdie at six of her first eight holes and closed with a 7-under-par 66. She hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation but took 30 putts, her highest total all week.

“Overall, it's probably one of the best ball-striking days I've ever had,” Lewis said. “Whatever number I needed to hit, I hit it.  I almost holed out on the first hole, hit it in there eight feet on the second hole.

“I hit good putts, they just didn't cooperate. They seemed to lip out or kind of bobble at the end, but I kept hitting good shots and kept giving myself chances.  That's really all you can do.”