Lewis gears up to defend at Kraft Nabisco


In two weeks, Stacy Lewis defends her one and only LPGA title ' the Kraft Nabisco Championship.Having never been in this position before, Lewis is looking to enjoy her week as the champion of the years first major.

I think you think about defending as soon as you win. I'm excited to get back and see my name on the bridge as you cross No. 18, Lewis said in a telephone interview this week.

Its been an active year for Lewis, whose popularity skyrocketed with her major breakthrough. Before the trip to the California desert, Lewis traveled to the nations capital to remind Congress of the importance of physical fitness for children. First Lady Michelle Obama has made it her cause, while Lewis represented sponsor Mizuno on Capitol Hill with the aim of maintaining federal education spending on physical education.

A lot of positive things come from being active and being involved in sports, she said.

Lewis was clearly a beneficiary of the sacrifices her parents made to let her cultivate her talent and supports the notion of allowing parents to write those monetary costs off on their income taxes.

My golf, I did a lot of local stuff because it cost too much to travel. I have two sisters, so I couldn't fly to California then to Florida to play. That was just not even a possibility, she said.

The stage she now occupies because of sacrifice and hard work by her and others supporting her is one reserved for golfs greatest champions. Her next aim? Representing her country at the Olympics ' a scale even grander than the beloved Solheim Cup.

Just to walk on the tee with red, white and blue on, representing your country, there's no bigger honor than that, she said.

Lewis said some of her older peers remain in golf specifically with the hope of finding a spot in Rio in four years.

There are definitely people who are keeping their careers going longer because they want to play in the Olympics, she said.

In the interim, Lewis believes American womens golf can thrive on the LPGA ' but only if she and her fellow Yanks perform.

I think it's going to take U.S. players winning in the U.S. to encourage new sponsors. The more we play in the U.S., the more we have Americans playing well, the better the schedule, she said.