Another year means another season with University of Arkansas Stacy Lewis sitting atop the amateurgolf.com-Bridgestone Golf national ranking system.
With the women’s amateur season still getting underway, the defending national amateur champion has been busy putting together one of the most impressive collegiate runs in recent history.
Among a slew of other events, Lewis won the NCAA Women’s Golf National Championship, the first in school history, weeks after withdrawing from a different tournament because of reoccurring back problems that date back to her high school days and possibly cost her a shot at the 2006 Curtis Cup.
“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.”
Most recently, she was the low-scorer in the qualifying round of the prestigious Women’s Southern Amateur and easily defeated Mina Hardin 6 & 5 in the first round.
Possibly the most important award Lewis received was Dinah Shore Trophy, which is voted on by LPGA members and awarded to the collegiate golfer who most exemplifies the game.
Standings-wise, Lewis has been a one-hit wonder, notching all 1600 of her points playing against the pros at their first major, the Kraft-Nabisco Championship, where she posted the best finish ever for an amateur, tied for fifth.
“This is by far the best golf I’ve ever played,” said Lewis a native of The Woodlands, Texas. “I just wanted to get as much experience for the rankings and to try to get on the Curtis Cup team. 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.”
It is not the first time we’ve profiled Lewis, and may not be the last if she keeps her amateur career going.
The 2006 season 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 then-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).
If things keep going like they have been for Lewis, we should be hearing a lot more about her, both at the Curtis Cup and as a pro.