Of all the 154-players in the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G field, one player’s record stands out above the rest. 2014 champion Stacy Lewis knows Pinnacle Country Club like the back of her hand. Lewis has played the event every year since the inaugural tournament in 2007, a year in which she unofficially won as an amateur as it was reduced to 18 holes due to rain. In her 12 official starts, she has made every cut with six top-10 finishes including a win in 2014.
“It's the comfort level of knowing what to hit off each tee and layups,” Lewis said of Pinnacle Country Club. “I was joking with my caddie that I don't need a yardage book here. He's looking at yardage book for numbers and I said, It's a 5-iron layup. Like I know what to hit here. So it's so much course knowledge, and it's really just about executing the shots from there.”
The University of Arkansas graduate returns to Northwest Arkansas this week just two weeks removed from capturing her 13th career LPGA Tour title and her first as a mom at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open.
“Still working on the jet lag,” said Lewis, who arrived back in the U.S. on an LPGA charter flight Monday. “It's always harder I think coming back. 2:00, 3:00 in the afternoon you feel like you need a nap. Just got to keep pushing through it. It's definitely great to be back. It's nice to be out of quarantine in Scotland. Little bit more freedom. At least you can drive places and go do a few things. But it's nice to be back and see my daughter and see my husband. It's been a long month.”
This week Lewis leads a contingency of three other Razorback alumni, including fellow Tour players Maria Fassi, Gaby Lopez and Alana Uriell and three current Razorbacks playing as sponsor invites Maria Hoyos, Ela Anacona and Brooke Matthews.
“It's just very cool to see all the girls coming through,” Lewis said of her alma mater. “Gaby and Maria and Alana have been on tour, and we get three other girls in the field. Just shows what we're doing here and what the experience of play in this event, what it leads to down the road. Just helps the girls learn what it takes to play at this level and kind of how they can get better in college to get out here one day.”
Lewis will start her first round on Friday off the first tee at 1:21 p.m. alongside fellow Razorback Gaby Lopez and Rolex Rankings No. 6 Sei Young Kim.