Stacy Lewis could feel Rory McIlroy’s pain better than most of us.
Lewis, 26, still glowing in the aftermath of her major championship breakthrough at the Kraft Nabisco Championship two weeks ago, toured Golf Channel studios this week for interviews with the Morning Drive and Golf Central teams.
She told GolfChannel.com that difficult memories came back watching McIlroy shoot 80 at the Masters in a failed bid to win his first major. Lewis was the 54-hole leader at the U.S. Women’s Open at Interlachen three years ago but faded with a 78. Though Lewis was making her professional debut at Interlachen, less seasoning didn’t make the lessons learned any less painful.
“It was really hard for me to watch Rory on Sunday, because I know what it feels like,” Lewis said. “It’s a case where things don’t go your way, and you keep thinking one shot, or one putt, will turn the tide a little bit, and it never happens. But, I’m glad, at that point, I didn’t win, because I wasn’t prepared for everything that goes along with winning. It made me work harder to get where I am. I think it all happens for a reason.”
Lewis excelled in her head-to-head final-round duel with world No. 1 and defending Kraft Nabisco champion Yani Tseng. Two shots down at day's start, Lewis shot 69 to Tseng's 74.
“I think the more experience you can get there and learn how to handle the emotions and the pressure, the better off you’ll be,” Lewis said.