Stacy Lewis earned her fourth win of the 2012 LPGA Tour season on Sunday in the Mizuno Classic in Japan. She began the final round seven strokes off the lead but she felt that her game was coming around at just the right time. While she had expected to play well in the final round, she could not have predicted that she would birdie each of the last three holes to win.
Lewis has virtually wrapped up becoming the 2012 LPGA Tour Player of the Year and would be the first American to win the award since Beth Daniel in 1994. She was getting tired of hearing the questions about how Americans were not playing well as the international players and she wanted to change the conversation. She has felt that her game has improved consistently over the past couple of years to the point where she truly believed that she was capable of having a Player of the Year type season.
She has been travelling a lot lately but the state of the LPGA Tour requires travelling to Asia and Europe to play in golf tournaments. It is unfortunate, but she is actually getting used to taking 12 hour flights and not knowing which time zone she is in from day to day. But Lewis added that she enjoys travelling to and playing in Asia especially when she is succeeding.
Lewis said that she would not be in the position that she is in today if she did not win the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship over Yani Tseng. Winning a Major Championship showed her that she belonged on the LPGA Tour alongside the best players in the world and it was at that Major that she began a friendship with Yani Tseng and she has been able to learn a great deal from the World #1.
She would give herself an A for this season although it would be an A+ if she won a Major. She finished in the top 10 in three Majors this year so she cannot be too disappointed. Lewis said that she would love to win another Major but anytime you can win four times in one season, you have had a great year.
Lewis feels that a points system is the best way to determine the LPGA Tour Player of the Year because it is a straight forward way to determine who wins and it is truly based on performance over opinion. Another reason that she supports a points system over a player vote is that the points system gives players something to root for and an understandable way to know who the best players on the LPGA Tour are.
She admits that she was hoping to come to the Lorena Ochoa Invitational with the Player of the Year award wrapped up. She spoke with Beth Daniel recently about the pressure that she was putting on herself to win the award and Daniel said that she put so much pressure on herself to win the award in 1994 that she was unable to enjoy the last two months of the season. Daniel told Lewis that she did not want to see her repeat the same mistake and thanks to her performance in Asia, she will be able to enjoy the last two weeks of the season.