In just her third season on the LPGA Tour, 2011 Kraft Nabisco champion Stacy Lewis is poised to make another major splash at the U.S. Women's Open conducted by the USGA this week at The Broadmoor. Lewis, who notched a tie for sixth two weeks ago at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, the season’s second major, has quickly garnered the reputation for excelling on the difficult major championship courses. The former University of Arkansas All-American has eight career top-20 finishes in 13 major starts, including a tie for third at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open contested at Interlachen Country Club.
It’s no surprise that Lewis plays tough courses well. Playing a major championship takes patience, perseverance and heart, all qualities with which Lewis is all too familiar. After being diagnosed with scoliosis at age 11, Lewis wore a back brace for 18 hours a day for 7 ½ years. When she reached her senior year of high school, Lewis underwent surgery to place a titanium rod and five screws in her back. Lewis uses her experience of overcoming scoliosis to help inspire others suffering with the diagnosis. While Lewis often meets up with young fans with scoliosis during tournaments, she showed the size of her heart in a different way in Colorado Springs Monday.
Lewis joined three Wounded Warriors stationed at Fort Carson for a friendly four-hole match on The Broadmoor’s West Course. The three servicemen, Capt. Jason Mazzella, Ssgt. Jason Wilcox, and Sgt. Chris Helton played a three-man scramble against Lewis’ ball. Lewis relished the experience. “That was a great opportunity just to hear their stories and what they've done for our country and just kind of say thank you. I mean, it was the least I could do for what they've done,” Lewis said. “It's great that they've used golf to help speed up their recovery. The Wounded Warriors is just such a great program to help the guys and women get back into the community again.”
Lewis continued her outreach Tuesday, along with fellow Tour players Brittany Lincicome and Alison Walshe, with a visit to the Soldier Family Assistance Center at Fort Carson.