September 24, 2012
Lewis wins Navistar LPGA Classic by 2
By Sports Network
PRATTVILLE, Ala. - Stacy Lewis closed with a 3-under 69 on Sunday to win the Navistar LPGA Classic by two strokes.
Lewis, who won for the third time this season on the LPGA Tour, finished at 18-under-par 270 on the Senator Course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
"You have to hit it good and make some tricky putts, and it just fits me pretty good I guess," said Lewis in a televised interview of the Robert Trent Jones Trail, where she's won twice this season.
Last year's champion Lexi Thompson rallied with a 6-under 66 to grab second place at minus-16. When she won this title in 2011, Thompson was the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history. That record was broken earlier this year when Lydia Ko won the Canadian Women's Open.
Mi Jung Hur and Haeji Kang both carded 4-under 68s on Sunday to share third place at 15-under-par 273. They were joined there by Angela Stanford, who closed with a 70. Stanford was tied for the lead after eight holes, but parred the last 10 holes to end three back.
Sarah Jane Smith (68) and Beatriz Recari (67) tied for sixth at minus-14.
Lewis tripped to a bogey on the second, and Stanford joined her in the lead with a birdie on No. 4. Lewis regained the lead with a birdie at the fifth.
Stanford birdied the eighth from 10 feet out to join Lewis at 15-under.
It was all Lewis from there.
She drained a 12-foot birdie effort on the ninth and made it two in a row as her 5-footer for birdie found the bottom of the cup on No. 10.
Lewis parred five in a row from the 11th, and her lead was down to one as Thompson was making a charge. Lewis responded with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th to stretch her lead back to two.
The 27-year-old 2-putted for par at the last to seal the win.
"It's just stressful. Someone can get on a run and make a bunch of birdies, so you never really get quite comfortable. Then 16, 17, 18 are not easy finishing holes. It was pretty nerve-wracking down the end," Lewis said in a TV interview. "Before I made my birdie putt, I knew I had a 1-shot lead on 16.
"I knew making that putt was key. I didn't know where (Lexi) finished until we got to 18 here."
Stanford had several chances on the back nine to put pressure on Lewis, but failed to convert.
Thompson bogeyed the first, but carded three birdies in a 6-hole span from the third. Around the turn, she poured in three consecutive birdie efforts from No. 10 to jump to 15-under.
The 17-year-old birdied the 17th to get within one, but missed a birdie try at the last to end two back.
"I just hit a few shots closer than I did yesterday, and dropped a few more putts. That's pretty much about it," Thompson said on TV of the difference between her third and final rounds.
NOTES: Lewis, who earned $195,000 for the win, also won in Mobile Bay earlier this year. She finished the two Alabama events at 35-under par...After a 2- week break, the LPGA Tour heads to Asia for four events, the first of which is the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, where Na Yeon Choi held off Yani Tseng by one shot last year.