ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND (U of A) -- Former University of Arkansas women's golfer Stacy Lewis fired an even par 72 in the final round of the Ricoh Women's British Open moving into lead on Sunday. Lewis hung on to win despite a challenge by Na Yeon Choi who finished second.
Lewis, of The Woodlands, Texas, was three-back much of the day but back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 combined with bogeys by the leader, helped Lewy move up the leaderboard. Lewis shot 67-72-69-72=280 for the tournament.
"I felt so comfortable all week," Lewis said. "To finish the way I did was just awesome. I love this place. I love the history that surrounds it. I putted well and stayed with it all week. Travis (her caddie) and I played three practice rounds and I felt really prepared this week."
Choi had the lead until Leiws' strong finish. Choi had to birdie the final two holes of her round to pass Lewis. She shot par on the 17th and tried to eagle the 18th but was unable to win or force a playoff with Lewis.
Strong winds forced players off the course in Saturday's round and Lewis' day began with a 4 a.m. alarm on Sunday as she had to finish the previous days play. She played 36 holes on Sunday as she moved into the lead on the final hole.
Lewis refused an interview with ESPN2 instead hitting the putting green to practice in case of a playoff. She came off the course with her nearest competitor four holes behind her.
With the Lewis win, she and former Razorback John Daly will have both with the British Open. The Lewis victory is the first major win for her since the 2011 Kraft Nabisco and she is only the second American woman to win this event.
Lewis' win ends a 10-event drought for Americans in LPGA Majors. She is the only American who has won more than one major in the last five years.
Lewis' former coach and current Razorback head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor and husband Adam were on hand in Scotland this week. Lewis came off the course on 18 and hugged Estes-Taylor after her round.
Lewis has played the Old Course at St. Andrews before becoming the first player to go 5-0 in Curtis Cup play in
Lewis is a member of the 2013 Solheim Cup beginning Aug. 12, at the Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo. Lewis entered the week with 857 points leading the field.