For a 13-time LPGA winner, the last few weeks have still felt a little different for Stacy Lewis.
“Seeing your name on a leaderboard, being in those last couple groups. I told my caddie last week, ‘Wow, it's been a while since we've been in this those last few groups,’” she said on Friday.
Lewis tied for eighth at last week’s Gainbridge LPGA. Now, she's four off the lead and tied for third at the LPGA Drive On Championship.
Lewis followed up an opening 68 with a 5-under 67 to reach 9 under par in Fort Myers, Florida. She was one clear of fellow major champion Patty Tavatanakit (70) when she signed her card, but was later passed by Leona Maguire (65) and Marina Alex (66), who both sit at 13 under.
The 36-year-old Lewis was most recently victorious in 2020, but she’s won only twice in the last seven seasons. A mom to 3-year-old Chesnee, Lewis said she has been working hard with swing coach Joe Hallett and the results are showing. She’s made 12 birdies in two days at Crown Colony Golf & Country Club, including one on her final hole Friday that helped lift her spirits.
“I hit a great second shot. About 245 to the front edge and just ripped a 3-wood as hard as I could and got it up there for an easy two-putt,” Lewis said.
“It is just really big. Makes dinner taste a little better. Just makes this afternoon a lot better. But, I mean, you have to take advantage of those downwind par 5s. I need to do that tomorrow, too.”
Saturday is the final round of the 54-hole event. For Lewis to claim a 14th tour title, she might need a little help from Mother Nature, which could benefit brains over brawn.
“I think the wind is supposed to switch directions on us, so we're going to see a completely different golf course tomorrow, which could be to my advantage,” she said. “I need the golf course to play a little tougher, where you have to think a little bit. If these girls can just bomb it on me and there [are] no elements, you know, I probably don't stand a chance.
“But if we have to think tomorrow, I like my chances.”