Stacy Lewis rides supermom cape to 65 and share of lead at LA Open

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Stacy Lewis rides supermom cape to 65 and share of lead at LA Open

Golf

Stacy Lewis rides supermom cape to 65 and share of lead at LA Open

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LOS ANGELES – Operating on a combined nine hours of sleep the past two nights, Stacy Lewis made being supermom look super easy at the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open. After taking sixth-month-old Chesnee to the UCLA Medical Center Wednesday night with an ear infection, Lewis skated through Wilshire Country Club in 6-under 65 Thursday for a share of the early lead in Hollywood.

“Really with the baby it’s different every day,” said Lewis of life on the road. “She could be in a great mood, and all of a sudden she’s screaming and you don’t know why. And we’re getting teeth, so it’s just the age that she is.”

Lewis isn’t the first premiere player to have a baby on the LPGA, but she’s the first former No. 1 to give birth and come back to the tour in quite some time.

The world isn’t the same as when Nancy Lopez and Juli Inkster did it. The tour isn’t either. The spotlight’s brighter on Lewis simply because of the resume she’s built.

Lewis wants to prove to herself that she can win as a mom. It’s important to her, but not as much as making this process easier for those who come behind her.

“There’s more of a drive to just change things to make it easier for girls to have babies,” said Lewis, “and to not make it seem like such a huge deal. There were things in Phoenix that we had to work through with the tour about who’s getting into daycare and taking pictures of our kids. I guess everything is new right now for everybody.”

Lewis’ mom went back home to Texas on Monday and her husband, Gerrod Chadwell, comes in Thursday evening. She wanted to see what it was like to be on her own for a couple days. The plan right now is for Chadwell to be with Lewis through next Tuesday and then for Lewis to tackle the rest of next week’s tournament stop in San Francisco on her own.

“Just depends how these next couple nights go more than anything,” said Lewis. “If we only keep sleeping five or six hours a night, I’m going to need some help. I can only do that so many nights.”

It’s not a coincidence that many of Lewis’ personal sponsors are also title sponsors of LPGA tournaments. CEOs listen to her. In fact, Lewis said the CEO of Marathon told her that he planned to change the company’s maternity leave policy because of interactions with Lewis.

“You look at the guys,” said Lewis. “They play forever. So many girls quit to have families, and it shouldn’t be that way. Maybe what we do changes tennis. Women’s professional tennis doesn’t have any daycare. Maybe we’ll be the catalyst for change across the board.”

Sarah Jane Smith plans to quit for the season after this week. She and husband, Duane, are expecting a baby boy in July.

“I don’t think I’ve been in one place more than a month since I was 15,” said Smith of not going home to Orlando until Christmastime.

They’re ready paint and stencil the nursery. The crib and dressing table arrived last week. Several players surprised Smith on Monday with a baby shower at a nearby coffee shop.

Watching Lewis soar to the top of the board post-baby is encouraging for Smith, who popped off the rubber band that was holding her shorts together after the round.

Whatever it takes.

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