Consistency the key for Lewis
Stacy Lewis has proven that consistency wins. Over the last 13 months, the 27-year-old Texan has won twice (the 2011 Kraft Nabisco and last week's Mobile Bay LPGA Classic), finished second three times, recorded 17 top-10 finishes in 31 starts and moved to sixth in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings. Aside from No. 1-ranked Yani Tseng (21 top-10s), Lewis has been in contention more than any player on the LPGA.
Her victory last week in Mobile, Ala., continued to show that she is the hottest American golfer today. Brittany Lincicome is the only other American to win twice since the start of 2011. And Lewis' statistics this year indicate that she is an all-around player, ranking in the top five on the LPGA in Scoring, Greens in Regulation, Birdies and Eagles.
Additionally, in her two wins, Lewis fended off tough competition, rallying past Tseng in the 2011 Kraft Nabisco and fending off hard-charging 17-year-old Lexi Thompson last week in Alabama.
"I'm getting more comfortable in this situation," said Lewis, who has five top-10s in eight starts this year. "I think that's a lot of it, and it's definitely been coming."
Munoz on a roll
Spain's Azahara Munoz has mirrored Lewis with her consistency, especially the last two weeks as she finished tied for second at the LPGA LOTTE Championship (tying her career best) and tied for fourth last week at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. The 24-year-old former Arizona State golfer from Malaga, Spain, has also made 23 consecutive cuts on the LPGA, dating back to last year's Shoprite LPGA Classic.
Back to Brazil
Mariajo Uribe is off to the best start of her three-year professional career on the LPGA as she returns to a familiar and successful site this week. The 22-year-old Bucaramanga, Colombia native has lost in a six-hole playoff and won in the last two HSBC LPGA Brasil Cups played in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Colombia is located just northwest of Brazil, where the 36-hole exhibition is scheduled this weekend for the third time and serves as a primer for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Uribe lost to American Meaghan Francella in the 2011 playoff and came back last year to shoot a tournament-record 69-66 and win by one over Australia's Lindsey Wright. Scotland's Catriona Matthew won the first HSBC Brasil Cup in 2009.
Uribe is coming off two consecutive strong finishes this year. At the inaugural LPGA LOTTE Championship in Hawaii two weeks ago she finished tied for seventh with low rounds of 65 and 68. Last week, Uribe finished tied for 20th at the LPGA Mobile Bay Classic with four rounds of par or better. Uribe played two seasons at UCLA and was the 2007 U.S. Women's Amateur champion, the only player from South America to win the title.
This year's 30-player field includes Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings top-10 players Suzann Pettersen and Paula Creamer.
Welcome to Rio
This week's host course, Itanhanga Golf Club, in Rio de Janeiro, will play to a par 73 for the HSBC LPGA Brasil Cup. The 27-hole course was designed by Canadian golf architect Stanley Thompson in 1933. It is one of two 18-hole courses in Rio, with neighboring Gavea Golf & Country Club, also a Thompson design, being the other.
The Sybase Match Play Championship (May 17-20) is the only official money event on the LPGA schedule in May. The Gladstone, N.J., features a 64-player field. The LPGA is off next week…Yani Tseng holds a 9.02-point lead (17.59-8.51) over second-place Na Yeon Choi in this week's Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings…Stacy Lewis, at age 27, is the second-oldest winner on the LPGA this year. Jessica Korda was age 18 - and the youngest winner - when she won the ISPS Honda Australian Open to open the season in early February. Angela Stanford, age 34, is the oldest winner this season…A pair of Canadians are very good with the driver. Samantha Richdale leads the Driving Accuracy category (85.7 percent of fairways hit) and rookie Maude-Aimee Leblanc is second in Driving Distance (282-yard average), just one yard behind leader Brittany Lincicome.