Stacy Lewis won the Navistar LPGA Classic on Sunday for her third LPGA Tour victory in five months, closing with a 3-under 69 to beat defending champion Lexi Thompson by two strokes.
Lewis parred the final two holes after a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 16 gave her the final cushion, and Thompson shot a 66 on The Senator course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex.
“Lexi was within one when we got to the 16th green and that’s the only time all day I knew what was going on,” Lewis said.
“Making birdie on that hole was huge. It gave me that cushion,” she added.
Lewis also won in Mobile in April, edging Thompson by a stroke in that tournament. She also won the Shoprite LPGA Classic in June.
The 17-year-old Thompson rebounded from a third-round 74. She won the event last year at 16 to become the youngest champion in LPGA Tour history, a mark broken last month by 15-year-old amateur Lydia Ko in the Canadian Women’s Open.
Lewis finished at 18 under, one shot shy of the tournament record set by Australia’s Katherine Hull in 2010. Lewis reclaimed the No. 2 spot in the world rankings and earned US$195,000 — but still stayed at a budget, US$75-a-night hotel in Prattville like usual.
Now, she and Taiwan’s Yani Tseng are tied for the lead in victories this year.
Tseng shot a 73 to finish tied for 46th place on four-under 284, while fellow Taiwanese Amy Hung carded a 67 for eight-under 280, tied for 28th. Compatriot Candie Kung was two shots further back on six-under 282 after a 72.
“It’s unbelievable,” Lewis said. “Winning never gets easier. It might have looked easy out there but it was hard. Every shot was stressful and every hole on this course with one stroke you can make a double easily.“
Her previous best at the Navistar was a tie for sixth last year, but she still likes competing in this state.
“I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if it’s the Bermuda grass,” Lewis said. “It’s kind of what I grew up with in Texas. I love playing these kind of courses where you have to hit good shots. If you don’t hit good shots you’re not rewarded. I like that.”