RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Former University of Arkansas All-American Stacy Lewis won her first professional event at the 40th Annual Kraft Nabisco Championship at the Dinah Shore Championship Course in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Sunday.
Lewis, a four-time All-Southeastern Conference and All-American for the Razorbacks, began the day in second place after moving back and forth between the lead and the top spots for the first three rounds.
The Woodlands, Texas, native opened play with a six-under 66 in a round with six birdies. She added a 69 on the second round and had a 71 on her third scorecard. Lewis finished with a 69 for 275. The victory earned Lewis around $300,000.
Lewis battled with Yani Tseng in the final round and they players exchanged the lead until Lewis birdied the 389-yard par four 12th hole with a 12-foot putt. With that birdie, Lewis took a two shot lead over the defending champion and current No. 1 player in the world in Tseng.
Both players parred the 404-yard par four13th hole and Tseng got a stroke back closing within one when Lewis bogeyed the 15th hole.
But Tseng dropped two strokes on the 16th and 17th while Lewis hit an amazing putt on the 17th to hold on to the two-stroke lead.
Lewis gave a fist pump after the putt on 17th and let her smile show as she walked to the 18th with the lead.
Lewis approached 18th green for her fourth shot on the par five, 531-yard hole and raised her hand to the crowd in the overflowing grandstand as players walked over the bridge.
She brought her fourth shot within seven feet and pushed it in for the win.
"It’s amazing,," Lewis said. " I found out today that I can play with the best players in the world. I still can’t believe. I played great today, probably the best I have all week, especially with the wind."
Lewis took the traditional plunge in Poppy’s Pond as the Golf Channel commentators speculated on whether the jump would be a cannon ball or just a regular jump.
The jump was a cannon ball and Lewis was joined by her parents, Dale and Carol, and her sisters.
Lewis tied for fifth as an amateur in 2007 and becomes the fourth player to win her first event at the Kraft Nabisco.
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