By Peter Conroy
“This is by far the best golf I’ve ever played,” said Stacy Lewis of The Woodlands, Texas, referring to the past season of amateur golf.
It was a season that saw her rack up 6000 points in the amateurgolf.com-Bridgestone Golf ranking system, easily enough to be regarded as the No. 1 women’s amateur golfer in the country.
The University of Arkansas sophomore got off to a quick start in the amateur circuit with a runner-up finish at the Southern Amateur, followed by a win at the Western Amateur.
Lewis also won the Harder Hall Invitational, and finished in the top-4 in three other major tournaments, the U.S. Amateur, the North and South Amateur and the South Atlantic Amateur (Sally).
Her nearest competitor, Kimberly Kim of Hilo, HI, trailed by 2300 points.
“I just wanted to get as much experience for the rankings and to try to get on the Curtis Cup team,” said Lewis. “I have been hoping for a spot for the past year, and I’m starting to think if I keep playing like this I might have a spot in 2008.”
Lewis said her ball-striking had never been much of a problem, hitting 13-14 greens per round, but that minor grip adjustments in her putting put her over the top this year.
The national title was also a bit of vindication for former SEC freshman of the year, who had to take a redshirt season to recover from major back surgery after her senior year of high school.
“I have scoliosis and after high school I had to have surgery to correct that, it was pretty serious,” said Lewis. “I had a rod put in my back with five screws to hold it in place and I had to have five vertebrae fused together.
“I couldn’t swing a club for six months and it took another three months to be comfortable on the golf course. There are still aches and pains after every round, but I’m glad I did it when I did. I had the option to put off the surgery until after college, but I don’t think I would’ve recovered as fast, so it was the right choice.”
After running away with the national women’s amateur title, it seems like Lewis indeed made the correct decision.
To view the complete rankings lists for 2006, click here>