The only thing Stacy Lewis hasn’t done this LPGA season is win a major. Nonetheless, Lewis is poised to win the Rolex Player of the Year honors. After securing her fourth victory last week at the Mizuno Classic, she now holds a 58 point lead over Inbee Park for the year’s top honors.
Lewis finished a distant second to Yani Tseng for the 2011 top spot, but Lewis has steered her career in the right direction. She has only missed one cut in 2012 (LPGA LOTTE Championship) and owns 15 top 10s this year. Park and Tseng are next in top 10 finishes with 11, a mark they cannot pass.
If you check many of the LPGA stats for this year, most have “Stacy Lewis” within the top 5.
– Official Money: $1,812,055 (2nd)
– Greens in Regulation: 75.6% (2nd)
– Putts per GIR: 1.75 (2nd)
– Top 10 finishes (%): 63% (2nd)
– Scoring avg.: 70.32 (3rd)
– Birdies: 334 (1st)
– Eagles: 11 (1st)
– Rounds in the 60s: 33 (2nd)
– Sub par holes: 345 (1st)
She is also atop the points for the Solheim Cup (500) with Paula Creamer sitting in second, some 236 behind Lewis.
While Lewis is having her best season ever, it isn’t quite on par with some years when comparing it to the likes of seasons posted by Tseng, Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam, but her 2012 is a season that many on the LPGA would love to have on their record. The last time any LPGA player led the tour in wins with fewer than four was back in 2009 when Ochoa and Jiyai Shin both notched three wins. With Yani’s stuggles this season, Lewis has asserted herself as a force in the world of womens golf. The question will be if she can carry that forward into the last two events on the LPGA schedule and into next season.
This week, Lewis will have the opportunity to add to her win total as the LPGA heads to Guadalajara, Mexico for the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. The task will not be a simple one as 36 stars from the LPGA, including Lorena herself, will vie for the title in one of the LPGA’s signature events.
To not consider Lewis a favorite even though there are many big names in this field would be foolish.
This is the same tournament that saw Michelle Wie capture her first title and defending champion Catriona Matthew is in the field as well. Add the likes of Ai Miyazato, Lexi Thompson, Suzann Pettersen, Creamer, along with Park and Tseng to the mix, and we will be in store for some fine golf this upcoming weekend.
After that, it’s on to the final tournament of the season with the CME Group Titleholders, an event started last year. Lewis is assured a spot in that field with her four wins and must be considered among the favorites there as well.