With a bogey-free 59 in Saturday’s final round, Stacy Lewis and Maria Fassi(Team TexMex) added their names to the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational record books, carding the fifth sub-60 round in tournament history. Lewis and Fassi, alums of the University of Arkansas women’s golf program, started the day in a tie for eighth and ultimately soared into solo third at -20 overall, a season-best showing for both players.
“I think it's confidence for both of us. I felt like I played some better golf this year and maybe the results haven't showed, and talking to her, I think she could probably say the same thing,” said Lewis, a 13-time LPGA Tour winner. “Just for both of us to see some putts go in and see some shots go in and doing what you are trying to do, it doesn't matter what format it is.”
This is the second consecutive year that Lewis and Fassi teamed up in Michigan, with the duo finishing in a tie for 12th in 2021 at -14 overall. On paper, it might seem that Fassi, known for her length off the tee, and Lewis, famed for her short-game finesse, would mesh well in the four-ball format but struggle mightily in foursomes. Instead, Fassi said their disparate games was easily balanced out by their personal relationship and close friendship.
“I think this year there was a lot more on the mental and emotional side of things. Still a little bit of strategy and course management, but I think I've improved a lot from where we were last year golf-wise,” said Fassi, who earned the best finish of her four-year LPGA Tour career. “I think after this week I can continue to work a lot on the mental side of things. I think the last two days were very good on that regard. We've been talking a lot and it's just been cool to see why she's the player she is. A lot of it comes from her head.”
Lewis was not only happy with her personal performance for the week, but also with what she saw out of tournament winners Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas. As captain of the 2023 U.S. Solheim Cup Team, Lewis was thrilled to see two of her potential players continue their successful partnership. Kupcho and Salas went 2-0-1 at the 2021 Solheim Cup and immediately felt something click, telling Lewis, who was an assistant captain, that she’d better think twice about splitting them up.
“They developed really good chemistry last year, and to the point where I think the first match, they played together they came off the golf course and said, do not break us up,” Lewis said. “They just really kind of found a groove and like playing together enough. I was excited to see that they had decided to play together again.”