Rogers, AR – Former Arkansas golfer Stacy Lewis finished tied for 49th with a three-day score of 3-under par in her first LPGA Tour event as a professional at the P&G Beauty NWA Championship
“I’m really disappointed in the way I finished,” noted the four-time All-American at Arkansas. “I just couldn’t get any putts to go in these last couple of days.”
Her final round Sunday might have best been summed up in how it ended as her 4 foot par putt on the par 5 closing hole caught the right edge but instead of dropping in the cup, the ball spun out and stopped 3 inches away. “Yes, that was kind of everything in that I hit good shots, I just didn’t get rewarded”, said Lewis.
After signing for final round of 3-over par 75, Lewis was all smiles leaving the scorer’s tent and even led an impromptu hog call behind the 18th green before signing autographs. “It’s been a great week and I’ve enjoyed the fans and everyone being here,” said Lewis. “I just wish I could have played a little bit better.”
The two-time SEC Champion opened the final round with a birdie on the first hole about two hours after completing the final five holes of round two, which resumed Sunday at 6:30 a.m after being suspended for darkness Saturday night. Lewis, who entered the final round in a tie for 19th, then carded a pair of pars before a thinned bunker shot on the 4th hole led to a double bogey that seemed to diminish the hopes of a potential Sunday charge up the leaderboard. The 2007 NCAA Champion then went par, bogey, par, bogey, and par to make the turn at 3-over for the day and 3-under for the tournament.
Her card would improve on the back nine as The Woodlands, Texas native sandwiched a birdie on the par 5 13th with 7 pars before closing with the bogey on 18. For the week, she hit 33 fairways and 38 greens in regulation while taking 89 putts. The course at Pinnacle Country Club, which will now undergo a complete redesign and renovation, played 6,238 yards and to a par of 72 for the championship.
Among the many who followed Lewis throughout her 3rd round Sunday was Arkansas senior-to-be Lucy Nunn. Nunn, who caddied for Lewis last year in this event, missed the cut after making the field as the low qualifier on Monday. “This week has been a lot of fun,” noted the Lawton, Oklahoma native. “It’s definitely an experience being a player as opposed to a caddie. I didn’t play very well but this experience is something for me to build on the rest of the summer and my senior year.”
“What a great opportunity for Stacy and also for Lucy to tee it up against the best in the world. This was Stacy’s first opportunity to make money towards getting her card next year and it’s just a real exciting time right now for our program and Arkansas golf,” noted Arkansas head golf coach Shauna Estes-Taylor.
Seon Hwa Lee won the P&G Beauty NWA Championship with a final score of 15-under par for her second career LPGA win this year and fourth of her career.
Lewis, who played this week on a sponsors’ exemption, will tee it up again this week on a sponsor’s exemption at the Jamie Farr Owens-Corning Classic as she attempts to win enough prize money to earn exempt status on the LPGA Tour in 2009 without having to go to qualifying school. The top 90 on the LPGA official money list following the Longs Drug Challenge (October 9-12) will earn exempt status. Last season Sheri Turner was 90th on the money list earning $91,575. Lewis’ tie for 49th earned her a check of $5,347, her first official check as the money she won at last week’s U.S. Women’s Open does not count as official LPGA earnings. Non-exempt players are allowed up to six sponsors exemptions meaning Lewis can receive four more exceptions this season. She could play in additional events by virtue of a top 10 finish and should she win an official LPGA Tour event she would earn a one year exemption for the 2009 season while moving to the top of the priority list for the remainder of this calendar year.
Nunn will compete in a U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifier at the Kansas City Country Club on Tuesday.
For more information about Razorback women’s golf or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ladybacks.com or hogwired.com