GALLOWAY: Stacy Lewis got the victory she needed Sunday to topple South Korean Park In-Bee from the top of the women’s world golf rankings, winning the LPGA ShopRite Classic.
America’s Lewis claimed her second LPGA title of the season and the 10th of her career, firing a four-under par final round of 67 in the 54-hole tournament for a 16-under par total of 197.
She finished six strokes in front of runner-up Christina Kim, who carded a one-over 72 for 203.
Lewis is projected to end Park’s 59-week reign atop the women’s world golf rankings.
Park has yet to win this year and her position atop the rankings has been under threat for weeks.
“It’s just mind-boggling really to think I have 10 wins out here,” Lewis said.
“It’s so hard to win. There (are) so many good players, and it’s so hard to win, so you never take them for granted.”
Lewis admitted this week that she was “kind of tired” of discussing at every tournament what she would need to do to topple Park.
The 29-year-old will be happy to have broken through to regain the number one ranking she held for four weeks last year, especially with the US Women’s Open coming up later this month at Pinehurst.
“I would like to take care of that here this week,” said Lewis, who did so in emphatic style.
Lewis started the day with a one-shot lead. She birdied the third and fourth and was up by two through nine holes.
She stretched her lead with another brace of birdies at the 10th and 11th before a bogey at 12 that was followed by another birdie at 13.
“Making those putts on 10 and 11 kind of freed things up, but then that back nine was just so back and forth,” Lewis said.
“It was just kind of wild swings of emotion, from me, from Christina.
“You know, we’d hit good shots and we would hit terrible shots. It was kind of exhausting actually coming in.”
After a bogey at 17, Lewis sealed the victory with a birdie at the last, becoming just the fourth player to win the tournament twice.
Lewis said she was looking forward to her second stint atop the rankings.
“You know, last time it was taken away from me in an off-week when we weren’t even playing, so I’m definitely just going to not take it for granted and really enjoy it this time,” Lewis said.
“Now I know all the extra things that come along with it, but I’m ready for it this time.”
However, Lewis said she won’t focus on maintaining the top spot.
“I know people get tired of me saying it, but my goal is to win the tournaments, and so whatever happens after that is fine,” she said. AFP