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Fourth season victory for Stacy Lewis in Japan
November 04, 2012

Stacy Lewis, 2012 Mizuno Classic

Stacy Lewis, -11, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Bo-Mee Lee, -10 Rolex Rankings No. 46

Stacy Lewis made a powerful charge in Sunday’s final round to beat second-round leader Bo-Mee Lee by one stroke at the Mizuno Classic. Lewis sat seven shots behind Lee entering Sunday’s round but carded 10 birdies and two bogeys to finish at 8-under par 64. The Texan posted rounds of 71-70-64 to finish 10-under 206 for the week. This marks her fifth-career victory and her fourth this season.

“I felt it was coming yesterday,” Lewis said. “I played really solid yesterday; I just didn’t make any putts. But to makes those three putts I made coming down the stretch was unbelievable. I didn’t really think I was playing this well coming into the week but I just started playing better and better every day. Putts just started falling today and it was meant to be.”

Lewis was able to close gap after seven birdies and two bogeys with just four holes left to play, putting her one-stroke behind Lee. Three straight birdies in the final three holes pulled Lewis to the lead while Lee still had three holes to play. Lee closed out the round with five pars, missing a birdie opportunity on 18 to pull the two into a sudden death playoff.

Inbee Park made a run for the Rolex Player of the Year prize after winning the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia and placing second at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship Presented by Audi, putting her within 28 points of Stacy Lewis. With Lewis’ first place finish at the Mizuno Classic, she takes her point total to 214 giving her a 58 lead over Park, who didn’t earn any points this week after finishing tied for 17th.

“It’s nice,” Lewis said of taking a bigger lead in the race. “I was trying to win the tournament this week, but I figured everything will just take care of itself. I just got in my own way these past couple of weeks. These last two rounds, this is the most fun I’ve had all year. So it’s been a great couple of days.”

Both Lewis and Park are slated to play in the final two events of the LPGA season: the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and the CME Group Titleholders. In order for Park to pass Lewis, Park will need to win both tournaments to earn 60 points, while Lewis will need to place below the top-10.

Should Lewis keep her lead, she will become the first American to win the award since Beth Daniel in 1994.

“Annika and Karrie went on a run and Lorena went on a run,” Lewis said. “There has kind of been a dominant player I think in the past few years and it hasn’t been a player from the U.S. For me I got tired of answering those questions about where all the American players are. That was my goal, just to break that trend.

“Beth Daniel, she was the last one to win it, she told me that she would love for me to win that award so they can stop talking about her.”

Earlier this week, several players had the opportunity to take a boat trip into the Ago Bay and witness one of Japan’s most historic occasions. Two elderly Japanese women who can hold their breath for close to five minutes as they dove to the bottom of the bay to fetch a handful of oysters filled with genuine pearls.

As the winner of the Mizuno Classic, Stacy Lewis received a pearl-studded tiara and a strand of Japan’s finest pearls.

“I haven’t decided who I’m going to give them too yet,” Lewis said. “I think my mom would love them thought.”

Pornanong Phatlum, Jennifer Song, and Alison Walshe punched their "Ticket to CME Group Titleholders" at the Mizuno Classic, each earning a spot in the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event, which will be held Nov. 15-18, 2012 at The TwinEagles in Naples, Fla. The second annual CME Group Titleholders is a season finale with a field made up of three qualifiers from every LPGA Tour tournament.

JLPGA member Saiki Miki withdrew before final round play began due to neck pains. Momoko Ueda made a solid push to defend the Mizuno Classic title this week, finishing the top-3 following the first and second rounds. Ueda shot a final-round 73 to finish with a tie for 27th at 2-under-par 214. Beatriz Recari was off to a hot start in Sunday’s round with six birdies in the first seven holes, finishing 4-under-par for the day ending in a tie for 9th.

Click here for full scores & prize money.

Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2

Q. You must feel pretty pleased with how you played today. You’re currently in the lead, while Bo-Mee has three more holes to play.
STACY LEWIS: It was awesome. I felt it was coming yesterday, like I played really solid I just didn’t make any putts. But to makes those three putts I made coming down the stretch was unbelievable. Hopefully I hold on to that lead.

I didn’t really think I was playing this well coming into the week but I just started playing better and better every day. Putts just started falling today and it was meant to be.

Q. Did you see the leader board as you closed the gap?
STACY LEWIS: I did. I’m a leader board watcher whether I play well or not just to see what’s going on. I felt comfortable with my putter no matter what so it didn’t really matter.

Q. You take back a bigger lead in the Player of the Year race. How are you feeling about that?
STACY LEWIS: It’s nice. I was trying to win the tournament this week, but I figured everything will just take care of itself. I just got in my own way these past couple of weeks, but these last two rounds, this is the most fun I’ve had all year. So it’s been a great couple of days.

Q. You would be a huge star in America if you did win.
STACY LEWIS: Annika and Karrie went on a run and Lorena went on a run. There has kind of been a dominant player I think in the past few years and it hasn’t been a player from the U.S. For me I got tired of answering those questions about where all the American players are. That was my goal, just to break that trend.

Beth Daniel, she was the last one to win it, she told me that she would love for me to win that award so they can stop talking about her.

Q. You received some really nice pearls. Have you thought about what you are going to do with them?
STACY LEWIS: I haven’t decided who I’m going to give them too yet. I think my mom would love them thought.

Bo-Mee Lee, Rolex Rankings No. 46

Q. How are you feeling after today’s round?
BO-MEE LEE: I’m kind of sad about today’s round. I gave myself less chances for birdie. I missed some short putts, so that’s disappointing.

Q. You had a pretty big lead heading into the second-round. Did nerves get to you as you watched Stacy make her way up the leaderboard?
BO-MEE LEE: There was a lot of tension today. I had lots of worries like if I won whether I would join the LPGA or not. So I think that made me a little nervous.

Q. With this second-place finish you take your top-10 finishes this season on the JLPGA to 14. You must feel pretty pleased with how well you’ve played this year.
BO-MEE LEE: I am happy. I wanted to move up in the money rankings, and I did. There are two more tournaments this season so I’m looking forward to closing out the season and hopefully with one more win.

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