LPGA rookie playing with special purpose


RICHMOND, Texas – Stacy Lewis is playing this week’s LPGA Tour Championship with a special purpose.

Lewis, a rookie who grew up in The Woodlands about an hour from The Houstonian Golf & Country Club, underwent surgery when she was 18 to repair damage scoliosis caused to her spine. She had the life-changing surgery at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital just a few miles from this week’s event.

“It’s basically why I’m able to be here,” Lewis said. “It’s special being here.”

Lewis’ mother works at the Hermann Hospital’s Woodlands’ branch. It would be a thrill for Lewis to win her first  LPGA event at this site.

“I have about 75 tickets for family and friends,” Lewis said. “I really haven’t played a tournament around here since I was in high school.”

Lewis, a four-time University of Arkansas All-American and the 2007 NCAA champion, opened with a 2-under-par 70 on Thursday. She’s 46th on the LPGA money list with two top 10s.

“It’s been frustrating at times this year,” Lewis said. “I expected to be in the hunt more, but if you told me at the beginning of the year that I would finish top-50 in money I’d be pretty happy about that.”