The 2013 season has been punctuated by exhilarating highs and despairing lows for Rolex Ranked No. 3 Stacy Lewis. South Korean Inbee Park bumped her off the top Rolex Rank after a brief 4 week reign in the spring and has held onto the No. 1 spot for 32 consecutive weeks. Then Norwegian Suzann Pettersen claimed The Evian Championship in August and sent Lewis down to the No. 3 spot in the rankings. Her dreams of claiming the prestigious Rolex Player of the Year faded as the final 2013 tournaments unfolded. But the Vare Trophy, which goes to the LPGA player with the lowest scoring average, is still within Lewis’s reach.
Lewis has a career-best 69.483 stroke average. She’s going to need to keep the pedal down this week if she hopes to secure the Vare Trophy. Suzanne Pettersen, at 69.587, is right behind her.
This award is not going to be settled until the players are in the clubhouse Sunday at the CME Group Titleholders. Keep an eye on the leaderboard. Lewis must beat Pettersen by nine strokes at Tiburon Golf Club to ease past her in the scoring race. Third-place Inbee Park (69.900) must beat Lewis by more than 30 strokes to come close.
Since at least 1982, there have never been three players to finish below 70 in scoring average in one season. Park must finish 1-under par this week to achieve a sub-70 average.
A Fantastic Year for Lewis
If she maintains her pace, Lewis’ current average would be the lowest since Lorena Ochoa’s 69.2 in 2006 and she would be the first American winner since Beth Daniel in 1994. The lowest scoring average for one season, 68.696, was established by Annika Sorenstam in 2004.
Since the U.S. Women’s Open, Lewis has recorded nine consecutive finishes of T8 or better (including a withdrawal at the CN Canadian Women’s Open). That includes a win at the RICOH Women’s British Open and losses by one stroke on the final hole at the Reignwood LPGA Classic in China (to Shanshan Feng) and the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico (to Lexi Thompson).
Look for Stacy Lewis to play her heart out at the Titleholders. The Vare Trophy is within her grasp!