LPGA notes: Lewis recovers; Inbee WDs; more

Stacy Lewis hits an approach during the final round of the Ricoh Women's British Open.
Stacy Lewis hits an approach during the final round of the Ricoh Women's British Open. ( Getty Images )

Friday, August 30, 2013

Stacy Lewis put away her clubs, shut off her phone and went to the spa. No one can really blame her for pulling out of last week’s CN Canadian Women’s Open. The World No. 2 was understandably exhausted, and it took a good prodding from her inner circle for Lewis to officially call in sick. It was the first time in four-plus years on the LPGA that she had withdrawn from an event.

“I was tired, but I didn't expect to feel the way I did on the golf course. I was out there, I overshot and I completely forgot what shot I was hitting, how far I was,” Lewis said of her first round. “That's not like me at all.”

After a whirlwind 36-hole Sunday at St. Andrews, where Lewis won her second major, she boarded a plane and headed straight to Colorado, where she prepped for the Solheim Cup. She went back to Florida for a stretch to unwind, but was soon back on a plane headed West for the most pressurized week of the year. By the time she got to Canada, deflated by a European drumming, the weight of that three-week stretch hit hard. Lewis withdrew and didn’t touch a club until Monday.

“I see people this week and they are like, ‘Man, you look a lot better this week,’ ” Lewis said.

The last few days, Lewis’ coach has been sending her pictures from the Old Course as a reminder of what she accomplished just a short time ago. With all that transpired in Colorado, even the good things are easy to forget.

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DOWN AND OUT: Inbee Park withdrew from the Safeway Classic with flu-like symptoms. The World No. 1 will defend her title Sept. 12-15 at The Evian Championship, now a major. Park still has a chance to become the first professional to win four majors in the same calendar year, though they wouldn’t be consecutive.

She leads the money race by $860,494 over Lewis.

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FOUR SCORE: For the first time in 40 years, the LPGA’s Portland event features 72 holes, rather than 54. With only one pro-am on the docket this week rather than two, tournament organizers chose to expand the event to a four-day competition.

“I just think a proper golf tournament is played over 72 holes,” said Suzann Pettersen, echoing the sentiment of many players on tour.

“It's a little bit better because the top players are going to rise to the occasion for four days,” said Paula Creamer. “Three‑day events are fun, but it's a better golf tournament really in four days.”

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HEAT IS ON: The LPGA’s Rookie of the Year Race has tightened considerably in recent months with Moriya Jutanugarn now holding a 31-point lead over Germany’s Caroline Masson. Ayako Uehara trails by 36.

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FAITHFUL SCOT: Catriona Matthew is the only player from the winning European Solheim Cup team teeing it up this week in Scotland. Matthew lives just down the road from Archerfield Links at stunning North Berwick. “Beany” won her national Open two years ago at the same East Lothian venue and is ranked 10th in the world. The rest of the team? They’re in Portland, playing for a purse that’s four times bigger.

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FAN MAIL: Lydia Ko’s victory in Canada moved her up 12 spots in the Rolex Rankings to No. 7. How cool is it to be 16-year-old Ko? Consider a recent post from her Twitter account, @lko424: "@johnkeypm thank you Mr Prime Minister." That was in response to this from the leader of her home country, New Zealand: "Well done to @Lko424 on her second Canadian Open win in Edmonton today - another fantastic achievement from a young Kiwi talent. #LPGA"

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