RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Major championships are becoming more important for Stacy Lewis, but she is only going to play four of them this year.
She is going to skip the Evian Championship.
While Lewis wouldn’t openly criticize Evian, her decision speaks volumes about what she thinks of the LPGA’s fifth major. There’s no getting around that.
After getting married last summer, Lewis said she went through the LPGA schedule and pared down her travel to seek a better balance between her personal and professional life.
“I wanted to play a little less,” Lewis told GolfChannel.com. “And, honestly, it’s more about wanting to go play places where I’m happy and that I enjoy going to, places I want to be, instead of going there and wanting to be someplace else.
“I went through the schedule and picked out events where I’m not very happy at, and Evian was one of them.”
The Evian Championship has faced challenges as a major championship setup, with rain plaguing the event, with ground under repair often an issue, and with record scores bringing into question the nature of the test.
Lewis, a two-time major championship winner, didn’t list specifics.
“I just know I’m going to be happier not playing that week,” Lewis said.
Lewis’ decision is a delicate matter for the tour, after the controversy it faced when it first announced it was adding a fifth major. Lewis didn’t announce to media she was “skipping a major” this year, but it came out as she spoke about how she specifically plans to balance her new marriage with her typically busy LPGA schedule.
GolfChannel.com asked Lewis if she is facing any pressure from the tour to put Evian back on her schedule.
“They have asked me what it would take to change my mind,” Lewis said. “I told them I’m not going to go to the media and make a story, but they know what needs to be done for me to go back. Unfortunately, it’s just a lot of things right now.”
Lewis said the amount of international travel in the LPGA schedule is also an issue.
“The amount we travel is insane,” Lewis said. “We have two trips to Europe, a bunch to Asia. There’s a trip to Australia and they randomly throw in a trip to Hawaii in the middle of the year. It’s really more where I’m at in my career.”
And in her personal life.
“To me, it’s not a big deal,” Lewis said. “I know to other people, it is, it’s 'Oh, you’re going to skip a major?’ At some point in my career, I’m going to miss a major because I want to start a family. So this isn’t a huge deal to me.”