Lewis plays through sickness to win

BY foxsports • April 3, 2011

Stacy Lewis felt like she wanted to throw up all day Sunday, but gutted it out for the first win of her career, holding off World No. 1 Yani Tseng at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Her victory dip, however, was muddied by injury.

Stacy’s mother, Carol, covered her face with her hands as the doors to the ambulance shut. She injured her left leg while jumping into Poppie’s Pond with Stacy; her husband, Dale; youngest daughter, Janet; and caddie Travis Wilson. The five held hands on the way in.

"I'm not a doctor, but it didn't look good," Dale said. "You couldn’t see the bone, but a pretty good size bump came up pretty fast."

Carol ran 14 miles this morning in preparation for Grandma’s Marathon this summer in Duluth, Ga. She actually became a grandmother for the first time two weeks ago, when her oldest daughter, Beth, gave birth to son Cole.

Needless to say, it’s been a whirlwind week for the Lewis family.

1.) She’s got heart: Lewis' first career victory came during a time of great loss. Lewis’ grandfather, Al, died early Wednesday morning in Toledo, Ohio. He was 84. The funeral is set for Wednesday.

"He and my grandma both got to see me play the whole round today," Lewis said, "and they were out there with me for sure."

A final-round 69 at the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills Country Club left Lewis three shots ahead of Tseng after starting the day trailing the defending champ by two shots.

"I think she had more pressure on her than I did," Lewis said of Tseng.

The putt no one could stop talking about came at No. 17, an 18-footer Lewis knocked in for a birdie to Tseng’s bogey. It effectively put the championship in her hands.

Tseng’s final-round 74 was the highest of the week, but she had no regrets.

"I tried my best today, and I didn’t give her any shots today," she said. "So I hung in there until the last putt and smiled the whole way, whole day."

2.) Making the jump: It’s a week premature to use the phrase, "A tradition unlike any other," (not to mention it’s the wrong tour), but the jump into Poppie’s Pond is one of the most recognizable images of major success for the LPGA. Past champions remember and relive their jumps throughout the week, and any player in contention knows better than to wear white on Sunday.

So how did Stacy Lewis enter the water at the 18th? Holding the hands of her mom, dad, sister and caddie.

“It was a lot colder than I thought it was going to be,” she commented later, wrapped in a robe on a chilly California evening.

Never hurts to have a few friends around, so Angela Stanford, Brittany Lincicome, Kristy McPherson, Meghan Francella, Karrie Webb, Beth Daniel, Meg Mallon and Azahara Munoz were a few of the players hanging around the bridge at the 18 to celebrate with their friend.

"You have to have friends out here to succeed and get through the hard times," Lewis said.

3.) The triple that derailed the train: Morgan Pressel was authoring the beginnings of a charge Sunday afternoon – going 2 under in the first five holes – until she hit the par-4 sixth.

Pressel, the 2007 champion, used a 4-hybrid for an approach shot over the lake (a club she calls one of her favorites in her bag), but came out of the shot, dumping it in the water. She knocked the next shot to the right of the green, pitched long, then two-putted for a triple bogey that pushed her from two shots off the lead to five back.

Pressel recovered with birdies at Nos. 7 and 9, but continued the rollercoaster ride with a double at No. 13 and a quadruple bogey at No. 16 after hitting her second shot out of bounds left and knocking the next shot through a tree on the right.

4.) Movers and shakers: Angela Stanford, who moved from T-23 to fifth Saturday with a 5-under 67, started hot Sunday with three birdies in the first three holes. She didn’t keep up that pace, making four bogeys on the rest of the day and just one more birdie to shoot 1-over 73. She finished T-3 with Pressel.

Other players wjho climbed on Sunday: Katie Futcher, who moved from T-14 to T-3 with a final-round 69 for a career-best finish, and Julieta Granada, who also shot 69 to go from T-20 to T-7.

5.) Check out that leaderboard: Good news for the U.S. squad on a Solheim Cup year: Five of the top six players were Americans.

“It really just signifies how the U.S. players have been playing over the last two years,” Jones said. “We’re really proud of the showing that they had last year, and it’s definitely just a continuation of that.”

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