Lewis is more interested in the Vare Trophy because it speaks to consistency. The LPGA Tour still has a wide disparity of prize money depending on the tournaments, a point driven home to Lewis when she realized her runner-up finish at the Evian Masters was worth more than any of her four wins.
“I think the Vare trophy for me would be more of a guideline of how consistent you played all year,” Lewis said.
The 27-year-old Texan was the last to leave the putting green on Wednesday night, heading back to the hotel to work on her speech for the awards dinner on Friday night and pick out a suitable dress to wear. She knows there is one more tournament, four more rounds, but it’s hard to ignore the attention she is getting for player of the year.
Her story is amazing in many ways, starting with the fact she had scoliosis and wore a back brace from age 11 all the way through high school, and then had surgery that kept her future in doubt, even playing college golf at Arkansas.
It worked out fine. She became an NCAA champion and went undefeated at the Curtis Cup. In her pro debut, she had a one-shot lead going into the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open at Interlachen and tied for third.
And now this.
“I just think back to 10 years ago when I remember sitting in a doctor’s office and him telling me that I was going to have to have back surgery,” Lewis said. “That was the time that … I mean, I thought I would never play golf again. Now 10 years later I’m here winning player of the year. That’s crazy. That’s not normal, you know?”
Tseng wouldn’t mind a return to normalcy, at least by her standards.
Lewis is the player of the year. Tseng still looks at herself as the best in women’s golf, and she still has that No. 1 ranking.
“It’s good to see her win,” Tseng of Lewis. “Kind of disappointed, too, but it’s already the last tournament, I have no chance to get it back. But I was trying really hard, that’s why I was playing six in a row. But she was playing good, and it’s happy to see that. Hopefully, next year, I can get it back.”