There wasn't much drama on either the JLPGA or LPGA today, but there sure was a lot of virtuousity. Almost in response to Teresa Lu blowing away the field by 5 shots at the Resort Trust Classic earlier today, Stacy Lewis blew away the field by 6 shots at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Christina Kim came the closest to challenging Lewis, but getting to -13 with 7 holes to play must have been unlucky for her, as Kim never got closer than 2 shots to Lewis. After the new world #1 bogeyed the par-4 13th, Kim responded with a bogey on the par-3 15th and a walkoff double as Lewis closed with birdies on 13 and 18 and a lone bogey on 17.
Kim was still able to stay ahead of Haeji Kang (who birdied 3 of her last 6 holes to get to -9), Jennifer Johnson (who got to -12 early in her round but endured a double-birdie-bogey-bogey run midway through the back to drop out of contention), Gerina Piller (who got to -11 with 8 holes to play but needed a walkoff birdie to salvage her back after bogeying 3 of her previous 5 holes), and Anna Nordqvist (who got to -10 with 4 to play but couldn't stay double digits under par). Julieta Granada made 5 birdies and an eagle on the way to a 68 that got her to -8, 1 shot ahead of Azahara Munoz (66), Meena Lee (66), Shanshan Feng (67), Karrie Webb (67), and now-former-world-#1 Inbee Park (70).
I was pleased to see that Ai Miyazato, Mika Miyazato, and Chie Arimura hung in there to finish at -2, that Paula Creamer picked up right where she left off last round and fired a 6-birdie, 1-eagle 66 to finish at -4, and that Na Yeon Choi, Suzann Pettersen, Mina Harigae, Mo Martin, and Harukyo Nomura all played well to finish at -6. But the day--and the week--belonged to 10-time LPGA winner Stacy Lewis. The difference was her putting; even on Friday when she wasn't quite hitting the ball the way we've become accustomed to from her, she found a way to get the ball in the hole and keep Jennifer Johnson within sight. Whereas others managed to get below 85 putts over 54 holes, Lewis's 81 were 10 fewer than Nordqvist took and 14 fewer than Piller.
Lewis now has 2 wins in her last 4 starts, at the start of May and of June, to go with 3 silvers, a bronze, and 10 top 10s in 12 starts in 2014, with her only finish outside the top 12 coming at the HSBC Women's Champions. She has as many wins as Paula Creamer. I'll let you know where she stands in my double-digit-winners' ranking and my career ranking soon. For now, congratulations to Stacy Lewis on a well-deserved win!