LPGA

Top-ranked Lewis has overcome the odds to reach Open

Posted June 17, 2014
Updated June 18, 2014

— In a sport where those from foreign soil make the up the majority of the ranks of success, American Stacy Lewis has become the top ranked player in the world in women’s golf.

When Lewis was 11, she was diagnosed with scoliosis. For seven years, she wore a back brace for 18 hours a day, only taking it off to play golf. Just before entering college at Arkansas, she had major back surgery to insert a rod and five screws.

Poor shots and missed putts aren’t as disturbing to Lewis because of her journey.

“I think a lot of what I went through with my back has just made me the person that I am,” said Lewis. “It made me persevere through some things and kind of get that attitude that my back is always against the wall and I have to find my way out. That’s the way I play golf."

With a healthy back and hefty resume, Lewis hopes to add to her collection of two majors this week at Pinehurst, a place history will be made with back-to-back U.S. Opens.

“Any time Ricky (Fowler) and Phil (Mickelson) are talking about women’s golf, I think it’s a great thing,” said Lewis. “That’s really what we accomplished last week. For them to say they are going to watch us play, that’s huge.”

Lewis would have preferred for the ladies to play first.

“I thought they could keep the greens softer for us and then make them more firm for the guys at the end. That’s the reason I thought we should go first," said Lewis. "Either way, whoever goes second is going to have to deal with divots, is going to have to deal with the chipping areas."

By design, there are divot-less areas where the women will hit from off the tee.

As for the total condition of the course, Lewis rates it a nine-out-of-ten.

“The greens are perfect. The fairways, aren’t perfect, but they aren’t supposed to be here. Our tour, a lot of weeks we don’t get good greens like this, so honestly, it’s a treat for us to be playing on these good, fast greens.

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