At the start of the week, Stacy Lewis said she kind of wanted to be the person “that kind of spoils history a little bit,” referring to Inbee Park’s attempt to become the first professional golfer to win the first four majors of the season in the same calendar year.
Park had her own problems at the Women’s British Open, feeling the weight of the pressure with all eyes focused on her, not to mention getting the “bad” side of the draw (with tee times early Thursday and late Friday).
“I’ve done something amazing this season,” Park said. “I won three straight majors. I don’t know if I can do that again.”
Due to high winds on Saturday, the third round was suspended, leaving some of the ladies to play 30-or-more holes on Sunday.
“I’ve gone through four rounds of intense pressure and I’m sort of glad it is over,” said the 25-year-old South Korean.”I almost feel relieved it is all over. It was hard being the center of attention all week and I feel exhausted.”
Park shot a final-round six-over 78 to finish the tournament six-over total for a tie of 42nd place.
Lewis, who trailed 54-hole leader Morgan Pressel by one entering the fourth round, hit the best shot of her life on the penultimate hole, according to the AP’s Doug Ferguson:
“It’s unbelievable,” Lewis said. “It all happened so fast at the end. You’re afraid for every shot, and all of a sudden you make a couple of birdies and it’s over.”
On the par-4 17th, the famous Road Hole, Lewis drilled a 5-iron that tumbled onto the green and settled 3 feet below the cup for a birdie to reach 7-under and give her a share of the lead when Choi three-putted the 14th hole from about 80 feet.
Walking off the green, Lewis said she told her caddie, “One more.”
A driver left her some 40 yards short of the green, and the Texan used a putter to whack the next shot through the Valley of Sin about 25 feet past the hole. She made that for another birdie to post a score at 8-under 280 and see if anyone could catch her.
Pressel stumbled with a final-round 76 and had to settle with T4, which was enough to boost her world ranking and secure an automatic berth on the U.S. Solheim Cup team.
Lewis had to wait for Na Yeon Choi to finish her round. Choi uncharacteristically bogeyed three of the last six holes to finish tied for second.
The 28-year-old American’s victory broke the streak of Asians winning the last 10 majors.