Stacy Lewis ended a winless drought streching back to 2014 after pledging to donate the whole of her winner’s check - $195,000 – to the relief efforts in her adopted hometown of Houston.
“I’m more relieved just knowing that I can pull the shots off when I need to. I knew I could win, but it's always hard,” said Lewis, who finished runner-up 12 times since her last victory. “There are great players on this tour.”
Lewis’ husband is the head women’s golf coach at the University of Houston, and Lewis herself moved to the town, recently devastated by the effects of Hurricane Harvey, when she was 11.
“I was fine until he showed up and then I started crying. But just have to him here and have him support me, you know, the last two and a half three years has been really hard. It's been really frustrating at times. You go through all the emotions of finishing second when sometimes it's your fault and sometimes it's not, and things just don't have seem to ever go your way and you get really frustrated at times,” admitted Lewis.
“He went through all of that with me, and it was probably as hard on him as it was on me. So just to have him here and get to share the win with him was pretty special.”
The couple still lives in Houston and one of Lewis’ sponsors, financial giant KPMG, said they would match Lewis’ donation total from Sunday.
“I was hoping some of my sponsors would step up and donate a little bit. Obviously wasn't expecting the match from KPMG. Marathon… they have an office and refinery and all that down in Houston, so they wanted to make that donation, but didn't want to make it to the public. I think it's something we should talk about because it's a big deal,” said Lewis. “My sponsors have always been great from the get-go.”
Lewis made just one bogey Sunday before rattling off a string of 11-straight pars to close out her round. She moves up to 6th from 16th on the Race to the CME Globe.
After a 6-under-par 66, In Gee Chun finished just one shot back of Lewis, notching her fifth runner-up finish of 2017. Chun was bogey-free Sunday but just ran out of holes, and fell just short of catching Lewis.
“I made another bogey-free round, and then I think it was great round today,” said Chun. “Stacy play was good, too. I really enjoy play with Stacy. I know Stacy have a little hard time before, so I want to give to her big congratulations. And then that's it. I want to try and keep going.”
Moriya Jutanugarn and Brittany Altomare finished tied for third at 14-under. Jutanugarn fired an even-par 72 on Sunday, while Altomare shot a 3-under-par 69 to notch her best ever LPGA Tour result.
Mirim Lee, Gerina Piller, Chella Choi, and Ai Miyazato finished a shot further back at 13-under par, and tied for fifth.
It was Miyazato’s final round on U.S. soil prior to her retirement from the LPGA Tour. She captured this event in 2010, and was given a robust send-off after she finished her round Sunday.
“'It’s been tremendous week for me. On the last hole I got really emotional because I didn't know that the (Tournament Director) was bringing flowers for me,” she explained. “I have so many great memories of this tournament. This is my favorite city forever now, and the people are so supportive of this tournament. It's just really enjoyable tournament, so I'm glad I'm playing this week of my last year.”
The LPGA Tour heads to Indiana next week for the inaugural Indy Women in Tech Championship presented by Guggenheim, prior to The Evian Championship, the final major of the LPGA Tour season.
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