“PRO” FILES…FEATURED TOURING PROFESSIONAL – STACY LEWIS

Stories of professional golfers overcoming hardships to succeed are common, but the obstacles in Stacy Lewis’s way were in class all their own. Lewis is the top-ranked female American player in the world, and in 2012 was the LPGA Tour’s player of the year.

At age 11, she was diagnosed with scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine. For the next 7 1/2 years she wore a back brace, taking it off only to play golf. The brace wound up doing little good, and she was slated for potentially career-ending surgery that also could have cost her the ability to walk. Her surgeon used an innovative procedure that spared critical muscle mass, allowing her to not only keep walking, but also allowing her to continue to play golf.

She red-shirted her first year at the University of Arkansas, working on her putting and short game. By the time she graduated, she had won 12 collegiate events, including the 2007 NCAA Championship as a junior. Upon turning pro, she was the medalist at the LPGA Q-school in the fall of 2008, blowing away another prodigy in the last group with whom she had been tied – Michelle Wie. Even so, Wie still retained the bulk of the press coverage.

Fast-forward to 2013, and that is no longer the case. Lewis is a definite headliner, having won five LPGA events, including one major, the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship. Showing great perseverance, determination, and a strong desire to succeed, it is a sure bet that Lewis will be a force in women’s golf for years to come.

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