|American Stacy Lewis
Stacy Lewis will provide a snap shot of her incredible journey to the top echelon of professional women’s golf when she makes her maiden appearance in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters to be held the under patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at Emirates Golf Club from December 1 to 7, 2013.
The 28-year-old from Texas hit the headlines at the recent Women’s British Open at St Andrews when she birdied the final two holes to win her second major on the LPGA Tour, ending a record streak of 10 straight majors won by Asian players.
Her remarkable achievement -- she was three behind with three to play -- at the ‘home of golf’ again left the golfing world marveling in awe at the steely resolve of a 5-foot-5-inch golfer who underwent a complex surgery to insert a rod and several screws into her back.
Diagnosed with scoliosis when she 11, the determined Texan was forced her to wear a back brace 18 hours a day for seven and a half years, but she kept the fire burning in adversity to become the number one ranked woman golfer in the world.
Her moment in the sun dawned on March 18, 2013 when she won the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup to snap Yani Tseng’s 109-week streak at the top.
For Lewis, who is a brand ambassador for Omega, the four-week run at No.1 was more of a question of “finally getting recognized for playing well” – and not for just for her medical condition. “Being the top American, it’s really cool. I think playing stress-free golf has changed my mindset, said Lewis, the second American to top the rankings after Christie Kerr, who was No.1 for five weeks in 2010.
“I believe in my confidence and believe that I can win,” said Lewis, who boasts eight professional wins since turning professional in 2008.
Currently ranked No.2 behind South Korea’s Inbee Park, Lewis shot to worldwide fame after winning her first LPGA major at the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship at age 26 and since then the reigning LPGA Player of the Year has been riding the wave of success and setting new goals.
With 13 top-10s, including three wins, under her belt in 20 starts on the LPGA Tour this season, Lewis is looking forward to ice her amazing streak of consistency with a strong finish, if not victory, when she features in the season-ending Ladies European Tour event in Dubai, promoted and organized by golf in DUBAi.
"It will be my first visit to Dubai, but I have heard many good things about the city from fellow professionals and know the tournament attracts a very strong field each year. With all those top LPGA and LET players in the field, it will be fun to play in Dubai,” said Lewis, who will join defending champion and fellow Omega brand ambassador Shanshan Feng of China among other elite golfers from around the world.
“If you look at the roll of honours, it’s so impressive. It will feel nice to have my name written on a famous trophy alongside greats like Annika Sorenstam, a two-time winner there. I know with so many potential winners from both sides the Atlantic in the field, it would take something special to beat the challenge, but I will try my best and see what happens,” said Lewis, who started playing golf at the age of 8.
“I am grateful to golf in DUBAi for inviting me to play in this prestigious event. I can’t wait to get started,” said Lewis, who graduated from Arkansas in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in Finance and Accounting.
Commented Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi: “We look forwarding to welcoming a player who is a true winner on and off the course. Stacy has demonstrated the strength and determination of the human spirit to keep fighting against the odds.
“If anyone is looking for inspiration, look no further than Stacy who has fought her way to the top of women’s golf. She is an ideal role model for young players coming out of college. Her phenomenal achievement shows that you don’t have to turn pro at 18 or 19. You still can be No.1 in the world. I wish her a pleasant stay in Dubai,” he added.
‘golf in DUBAi' is backed by Omega as the title sponsor and DUBAL as the sponsor. The co-sponsors are: CNN, Drydocks World & Maritime World, Emirates NBD, Gulf News, Mercedes-Benz and wasl while Dubai Duty Free, Carpetland and Motivate are the Patrons in golf in DUBAi's drive to showcase the emirate's vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience.