She won her first LPGA tournament since 2014, but Stacy Lewis wasn’t in a hurry to pocket the $195,000 prize money.
Instead, the American golfer, who lives in Texas with her husband, will donate her Cambia Portland Classic winnings to the Houston Relief Fund set up in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
One of the 32-year-old golfer’s sponsors has agreed to match her donation, while another has donated an undisclosed amount.
The hurricane has claimed 53 lives and forced tens of thousands out of their homes and into aid shelters. Houston authorities have said it will “take years” for the city to recover as it comes to terms with the extent of the devastation.
“I was hoping some of my sponsors would step up and donate a little bit,” said Lewis.
“Obviously I wasn’t expecting the match from [her main sponsor] KPMG. Marathon [the petroleum company] have an office and refinery and all that down in Houston, so they wanted to make that donation, but didn’t want to make it to the public.
“Just what we’re going to be able to do, we’re going to be able to help rebuild houses and get their homes back. That’s more important than anything.”
A long wait comes to an end
Lewis moved to Texas at the age of 11, and still lives there with her husband Gerrod Chadwell, who is the University of Houston’s head coach of women’s golf.
She had promised the day before the event to donate her winnings to her adopted hometown and delivered in style following 12 runner-up finishes since her last LPGA victory.
Lewis held a three-shot lead heading into Sunday and withstood a late charge from In Gee Chun, shooting three-under in the final round to beat her South Korean opponent by one stroke.
“I’m excited to get the monkey off my back and just to know I can do it,” said Lewis, referring to the 83 tournaments she’s played since that 2014 win.
“I can hit the shots when I need to and hit the putts when I need to. It’s nice to see yourself do that again.”
Other goflers have also pledged their support to the Houston Relief Fund.
Sergio Garcia, whose wife is a Texas native, has promised $2,000 for every birdie and $5,000 for every eagle he makes during the FedExCup, while world No. 1 Dustin Johnson made an unspecified donation to the Red Cross.