5 Things: Lewis wins; Wie fades; more
Sunday, June 29, 2014
The home crowd already belonged to Stacy Lewis at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Sunday, she made sure the trophy would too.
A former Razorbacks standout, Lewis captured her third victory of the season with a closing 65 – capped by a birdie at the par-5 18th – to finish a shot ahead of Cristie Kerr, Lydia Ko and Angela Stanford at the 54-hole event.
Here are 5 Things to know from Sunday's action in Rogers, Ark.
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1. CLEARLY THE BEST: World No. 1 Stacy Lewis will only strengthen her hold atop the rankings – all three of her wins have come in her last seven starts, with a T-12 at the Kingsmill Championship last month her only finish during that stretch outside the top 10.
The lead changed hands several times Sunday, with Kerr one of the first to catch 36-hole leader Michelle Wie as a four-way tie for the lead developed early.
Lewis, however, needed more time to join the party – having started the day four shots back thanks in large part to an opening-round 70 that was sullied by early bogeys at Nos. 2 and 4. Closing 66-65, however, Lewis carded just two bogeys during her last 50 holes at Pinnacle CC.
She moved to T-2 at 9 under with a birdie at No. 11 as Wie bogeyed No. 9 – and wouldn't hold the lead until a birdie at No. 17 that one of three in her last four holes.
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2. NO BACK-TO-BACK FOR WIE: Michelle Wie couldn't recapture the form of her back-to-back 66s to start the NW Arkansas Championship, opening with eight straight pars as she was caught in the lead by Chella Choi, Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford. Three holes later, Wie was 3 over for her round and four shots off the lead – and the U.S. Women's Open champ's second-round lead was for naught. She saved face a bit with a birdie at the 17th to end up with 72 for a T-8 finish.
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3. KO'S BIG FINISH: Rookie Lydia Ko stayed under 70 all week and her Sunday 65 moved her to T-2. Ko didn't find a share of the lead until she birdied the 18th, like Lewis birdieing three of her last four. Ko was the clubhouse leader after her birdie, only to be passed by Lewis minutes later. It's Ko's seventh top-10 finish of the year, her only win coming at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in April.
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4. KERR STILL SEEKS W: A closing 67 left Cristie Kerr one shot short of her first win since the 2013 Kingsmill Championship. Kerr played her last 31 holes without a bogey in moving to a T-2 finish alongside Ko and Angela Stanford, but only toured the back nine Sunday in 1 under after playing her two previous nines in 3 under apiece. Kerr will head to the Women's British Open in two weeks looking for her third career major victory.
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5. SHORT SHOTS: Chella Choi aced the No. 6 hole Sunday but couldn't convert it into her first LPGA win as the South Korean bogeyed Nos. 10-11 en route to a closing 69. … Likewise, back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 13-14 overshadowed six birdies from Angela Stanford and kept her from her sixth win on tour and first since 2012. … Suzann Pettersen rebounded from a missed cut at the U.S. Women's Open with three rounds under 70, carding just two bogeys in her last 40 holes en route to her fifth top-10 of the season.