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Lewis opens up, then moves into contention at ANA

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Stacy Lewis said she felt relief opening up Wednesday about the challenges she’s facing trying to map a new path through life as a tour pro, and she felt some relief again Friday pouring in some putts to get into contention at the ANA Inspiration.

Lewis told media earlier this week that she’s getting married early in August, in the midst of a brutish run of elite competitions, and that she has struggled to figure out how it’s all going to work. A steely competitor and private person, Lewis was in tears after the news conference.

“If anything, it was just nice to get it out there,” Lewis said. “I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve had those thoughts in my head a long time. Whether people understood or not, that wasn’t the goal of it. It was just to get it out of my head. Immediately, right after, I lost it, just started crying. It was just getting that out.

“I got some pressure out of your system.”

Lewis is marrying Gerrod Chadwell on Aug. 6. He’s the coach of the University of Houston women’s golf team.

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“I've got somebody in my life that's more important than any golf tournament I'll ever play in, or any tournament I'll ever win, and I honestly never thought I would be up here saying that,” Lewis said Wednesday. “I never thought I'd be in that position. So it's a little bit strange to me, and that's one thing I'm trying to figure out right now.”

Lewis said commitment to her new life will mean adjustments in priorities, like the possibility she won’t be so committed to trying to regain the No. 1 ranking. She said her commitment as a player may shift more to winning majors. She gave herself a chance at winning her third major with a 4-under-par 68 on Friday, moving her three shots off the lead.

“I feel good,” Lewis said. “I knew yesterday I played well, hit the ball really good, had four or five putts I thought I made. I knew I was playing well enough to shoot a score like I did today. I’m just glad I got myself in the tournament, gave myself a chance to move up the leaderboard tomorrow.”

Lewis said she’s heartened by the responses she has received opening up about the challenges of trying to shift priorities.

“A lot of cool responses,” she said.