LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida – Stacy Lewis packed away her clubs for the Christmas break but knew exactly where to pick up in 2021: putting.
Husband Gerrod Chadwell found the answer in the garage.
“I was starting to get better,” said Lewis, “but really awful.”
There are tons of putters in the couple’s Houston garage, but Chadwell went straight to a TP Mills design that they received eight years ago and never used.
“It’s more of a middle section, really different from what I’ve ever played,” said Lewis. “He’s like, just putt with it. You will be able to see what you are doing wrong and what you need to change. A lot of this was done with the setup, just the way I was set up, the way I was holding on to the putter. “
Lewis, 35, kept the “new” putter in his pocket for the first round of the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions and was pleased with the immediate results. The former # 1 drove to an opening 66 that contained three straight birdies on putti # 12-14 and 26.
Lewis’ TP Mills Putter (Photo from Golf Week)
On the 14th par 3, Lewis thought she might win the Outback Steak for Life award after her finely struck 6-iron was aimed at the flagstick. Unfortunately, the ball landed 5 feet from the hole.
Big steak fan?
“Yes, meat and potatoes, let’s go,” said Lewis. “I was all in.”
The first time Lewis played in the TOC, daughter Chesnee was 3 months old. Since then, the goal has been to return to this event so they could bring Chesnee to Disney World. Shortly after she won the Ladies Scottish Open last August, Lewis Chesnee announced that the trip was on. She decided to wait until after the event to explore the parks in case her back hurt from carrying Chesnee around.
“I’m probably more excited because she still has no idea what it is,” said Lewis. “She loves Mickey and Minnie. She got into ‘Frozen’. I can’t wait to see it through her eyes. “
Of course, a win this week would go a long way in helping Lewis’ big goal for 2021: to form the Solheim Cup team.
The story goes on
Lewis revealed that U.S. Captain Pat Hurst spoke to her about being an assistant captain in Toledo before she won in Scotland.
“She had to go back to the drawing board,” said Lewis. Michelle Wie and Angela Stanford, who also won late last year, have already been named deputy captains.
While Lewis Texas has been calling home for a while, she was actually born in Toledo. The Solheim Cup would be a special week in historic Inverness for the hometown player, even if there may be fewer fans than usual this year due to COVID-19.
“My whole family is there,” she said. “I mean, it’s number 1 for me.”