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Lewis wins North Texas LPGA Shootout

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IRVING, Texas (AP) - There was no near-miss for Stacy Lewis this time.

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After six runner-up finishes in her previous 16 tournaments, Lewis took control in the final round of the North Texas LPGA Shootout, shooting a 7-under 64 on Sunday for a six-stroke victory over Meena Lee.

With consecutive birdies at the end, Lewis finished at 16-under 268 and with the LPGA Tour's largest margin of victory since Jiyai Shin won the 2012 Women's British Open by nine.

It was the ninth career LPGA Tour victory for Lewis, her first since August in the Women's British Open, and will boost the Texan from No. 3 to No. 2 in the world ranking.

Lewis made a putt from about 25 feet off the fringe at the 540-yard seventh for an eagle. She followed that with consecutive birdies to make the turn at 14 under and up by three strokes.

Lee, also in the final group, shot 70. Michelle Wie, who closed within two before faltering late, had a 67 to finish third at 9 under.

Na Yeon Choi (69) and Kim Kauffman (70) finished tied for fourth at 8 under. Kraft Nabisco winner Lexi Thompson (69), Cristie Kerr (71) and Suzann Pettersen (72) were among six players at 7 under.

There has been only one finish outside the top six for Lewis in nine tournaments this year, including a third at the Kraft Nabisco and another runner-up finish just last week in San Francisco. She had three runner-up finishes in her last eight tournaments in 2013 after the her victory at St. Andrews.

Lewis started the final round at Las Colinas Country Club tied for the lead with Meena Lee. Lewis had gotten a share of the lead after a frustrating 69 in the third round Saturday when she hit all 18 greens in regulation but missed several makeable birdie putts, including one on the 18th hole.

In the final round, Lewis had a birdie at the par-5 third hole. She completely took over with that impressive three-hole stretch to get to the midpoint of her day.

Wie had her fourth consecutive top-10 finish. That stretch includes a home victory in Hawaii for her first LPGA Tour title in nearly four years, after a runner-up finish at the Kraft Nabisco, the first major of the season.

Wie, playing five groups ahead of the final threesome, was 6 under in a span of seven holes - Nos. 9-15. When she made a 4-foot birdie putt at No. 15, she was 11 under and only two strokes behind Lewis, who was finishing her only bogey of the day at the par-3 11th.

Lewis' tee shot at the 175-yard 11th half-buried in the sand just under the lip of the bunker. Lewis had sand in her face after hitting out, and couldn't save par. She got that lost stroke right back with a long birdie putt at the par-4 12th.

While Wie was finishing with consecutive bogeys, Lewis had an incredible par-saver at the 390-yard 15th hole, where she opted for a hybrid wood instead of an iron off the tee and had her tee shot roll into the water. After dropping from about 140 yards, she hit her approach to about 3 feet.

Defending champion Inbee Park closed with a 72 to tie for 14th at finish at 5 under. That will be good enough when the new world ranking comes out to stay No. 1 for the 56th consecutive week since replacing Lewis at the top.

Lewis will supplant Lydia Ko in the second spot. Ko, who didn't play in North Texas, moved to No. 2 after her win last week in San Francisco only days after her 17th birthday.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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