Stacy Lewis thinks motherhood has mellowed her -- a bit
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Stacy Lewis thinks motherhood has mellowed her — a bit.
"Maybe a little bit more even keel and low key," Lewis said at the ANA Inspiration, the major championship that begins Thursday at Mission Hills. "Maybe that will help on the golf course. I don't know. Life is so different. I don't even remember what it was like before."
They 34-year-old Texan is making her fourth start since the birth of daughter Chesnee in late October.
"Everything has changed," said Lewis, who is married to University of Houston women's golf coach Gerrod Chadwell. "The way I go about my day, my golf swing feels different, my body feels different, the mindset when you leave the golf course is way different."
She acknowledged her intensity has been a detriment at times.
"I think there has been a point where I get to where it starts to hurt me," she said. "Maybe the perspective of having Chesnee maybe changes that a little bit. Definitely when I leave the golf course I'm not worried about golf as much. It becomes all about her. I'm definitely able to leave it more at the golf course and come back more fresh the next day."
Lewis returned to the LPGA Tour in January with a sixth-place tie in the opener in Florida. She skipped the Australia and Asian events, then missed the cut two weeks ago in Phoenix and was 12th last week in Carlsbad.
"I didn't know what to expect," Lewis said. "I didn't know how the traveling with the baby was going to be. I had to figure out early and late tee times. Teeing off at 1 p.m. with a baby that wakes up at 6 a.m. is very hard. We had things like that to figure out."
She won at Mission Hills in 2011 and lost a playoff to Brittany Lincicome in 2014.
"I love this golf course," Lewis said. "Greens are fast and firm, which I love. I love to see this golf course firm."
Lincicome, also the 2009 winner, is expecting her first child, a daughter, in early September.
"I can definitely feel when I swing, especially with driver, there are some things stretching and growing around the belly area," she said.
She has an endorsement deal with Pure Silk and hopes to get through the event it sponsors in Virginia in late May.
"I would love to get through Kingsmill, obviously, being a sponsor, being a great event on the schedule," Lincicome said. "My mom loves coming to that one."
The traditional winner's leap into Poppy Pond could be a problem for top-ranked Sung Hyun Park.
The South Korean doesn't know how to swim.
"If the level is deep, then I might drown," Park joked through a translator.
She should be safe, with the pond only 4 feet deep.
The two-time major champion won in Singapore early last month, then missed chances to win the last two weeks in Phoenix and Carlsbad after sharing the 36-hole leads. She tied for 14th in Phoenix and tied for second in Carlsbad.
"After last week's finish, I've been anticipating this week," Park said. "I'm very, very excited. It's the first major of the year, so I'm a little nervous. It's a tough course, but that's what will make it a fun challenge."
She won major titles at the 2017 U.S. Women's Open and 2018 KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
Michelle Wie is making her first start since withdrawing because of pain in her right hand during the first round of her Singapore title defense.
She tied for 23rd the week before that in Thailand in her return following surgery to repair an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment in the hand.
Off the course, she recently announced her engagement to Jonnie West, the son of basketball great Jerry West. On the course, she has changed her putting style — again — going to a left-arm lock with a belly length putter anchored against her left arm.
Charley Hull is dating boxer/MMA fighter Ozzie Smith.
"Sometimes we train, but I haven't actually been to the gym for like two weeks," Hull said. "I don't know how I lost this weight. I had cake every day last week. I think my metabolism has just speeded up."
The Englishwoman won the Ladies European Tour's season-opening event in Dubai in January.