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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Can Stacy Lewis Finally Get It Done?

That has been the question all year, with Stacy consistently getting near the lead at events but having to settle for a runner-up or third-place finish.

This week at Blue Bay has turned out to be the same story. But this time it's been complicated by the conditions in China, with strong gusty winds and average scores in the mid-70s.

Stacy Lewis at Blue Bay

Stacy entered the final round just a stroke back of 54-hole co-leaders Candie Kung and Sei Young Kim... and the leaders were both just even par. That's right, NOBODY was under par after 54 holes. In fact, only four players broke par during the third round and conditions weren't looking to get much better.

After her third round Stacy told
“Yeah, it was frustrating. I left a lot out there. It was playing hard but I played well. Just didn’t quite do the little things right, so it’s a little frustrating. But only a couple back, which is good. I think the weather is going to be even worse tomorrow, so it’s really more of a mental test than anything.”
Earlier in the week she talked about the need to be patient with herself, to take what the course would give her and do the best she could. But even as I write this, she's being tested. GC's live coverage hasn't begun yet but there's already been some action on the leaderboard. Stacy came out and birdied the first two holes, bogeyed the fifth and birdied the eighth to get herself -1 for the tournament. Candie Kung has two birdies and one bogey; she's also -1 for the tournament. Sei Young Kim is still even.

Understand that the best score for the round so far is -2 and, while several players besides Stacy are there, none but Stacy is in a position to win. She's doing what she needs to do if she just doesn't start pushing too hard, which is likely the reason she has struggled to close tournaments lately.

By the time you read this, the event will likely have wrapped up and we'll know the answer to the question. After 9 holes, Stacy is right where she needs to be. She has played the back 9 better than Candie so far this week and only one worse than Kim. Still, with the tough conditions continuing, you have to wonder if Stacy can stay patient with herself long enough to finally break her winless streak.

But there's one thing we know about Stacy Lewis: If she can stay patient, these tough conditions may be just what she needs.

[MORNING UPDATE: Alas, Stacy came up short again. Sei Young Kim snagged her third win of the season... and Stacy is once again runner-up.]

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