Amid the outpouring of support for the flood-ravaged residents of Houston, nobody came through quite like Stacy Lewis.
Lewis, who has lived in The Woodlands, Texas, in suburban Houston since age 11, pledged before the LPGA’s Cambia Portland Classic that any money that she might make would go toward Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The storm dumped as much as 50 inches of rain in Houston last week and led to at least 44 deaths.
So, what did Lewis do? Well, for the first time in more than three years, she won on the LPGA. She committed her $195,000 first-place check to suffering Houstonians.
“That's unbelievable. You know, when I said that, I had the goal of winning the tournament,” Lewis said, “and you’ve got to get a lot of things right, to go your way.”
Lewis called the recovery effort in her hometown, where her husband, Gerrod Chadwell, coaches the University of Houston’s women’s team, “more important than anything.”
“We're going to be able to help rebuild houses and get their homes back,” she said.
Lewis shot a final-round 3-under 69 at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Ore., for a 20-under 268 total. South Korea’s In Gee Chun (66) placed second at 19-under 269. American Brittany Altomare (69) and Thai Moriya Jutanugarn (72) tied for third at 14-under 274 (scores: http://bit.ly/1zkYSEX).
Numerous other golfers, many with Houston and/or Texas ties, have pledged financial support. Among them: K.J. Choi, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Kelly Kraft, Mark O’Meara, Patrick Reed, Conrad Shindler, Jordan Spieth, Chris Stroud, Justin Thomas and Jhonattan Vegas.
Lewis, 32, a 12-time winner on the LPGA, had not won since the 2014 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. During that span, she finished runner-up 12 times in 82 starts.
She has made the cut in all 20 of her starts this season, including seven top-10 finishes.
“I’m more relieved just knowing that I can pull the shots off when I need to,” Lewis said. “I knew I could win, but it's always hard.”