Lewis pledges prize money to victims

American Stacy Lewis is seeking her first LPGA title since winning the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014.
American Stacy Lewis is seeking her first LPGA title since winning the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014.

PORTLAND (Oregon) • American golfer Stacy Lewis says watching the resolve of the victims of a hurricane in her home town of Houston, Texas, has spurred her to help out.

Lewis, who is poised to win her first tournament in three years, is donating her prize money to the victims of the storm, designated Hurricane Harvey, which killed at least 42 people and unleashed massive flooding that damaged up to 50,000 homes in Houston.

"I have been motivated," said Lewis, who shot a seven-under 65 on Saturday to take a three-shot lead into the final round of the LPGA Tour's Portland Classic. "I am more appreciative. You think you got it pretty tough. The people down there got it way tougher than us. It puts things in perspective."

If she can hold on to her lead on the final day she would collect the winner's cheque of US$195,000 (S$264,750). If she finishes second she would earn US$120,000.

Lewis moved to Houston as a youngster and her husband is the women's golf coach at the University of Houston.

She rode a flurry of early birdies to take control of the tournament in Saturday's third round. She is at 17-under 199 after 54 holes, three clear of Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn.

"I know it's been a while since I won. Everybody talks about it," she said. "I really feel like the last few months I've been playing some good golf."

Moriya equalled the fast start by Lewis, also posting birdies on five of the first eight holes in her round of 66. The sister of world No. 3 Ariya Jutanugarn is seeking her first career victory.

"I was feeling great," said Moriya. "I have been hitting solid and (gave) myself a lot of really good chances for birdie."

South Korea's Chun In Gee had a 69 that left her four shots off the pace at 203.

American Brittany Altomare shot a 66 and is alone in fourth place at 205. She is one shot ahead of a trio of players - Mexico's Gaby Lopez (64), Dane Nicole Broch Larsen (67) and South Korean Chella Choi (68).

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2017, with the headline 'Lewis pledges prize money to victims'. Print Edition | Subscribe