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Published: Monday, 7/14/2008

Lewis eager for a breather from tour

BY MAUREEN FULTON
AND RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITERS
Stacy Lewis finished tied for 17th place, taking home $15,501 in prize money. Lewis shot a 3-over-par 74 yesterday. Stacy Lewis finished tied for 17th place, taking home $15,501 in prize money. Lewis shot a 3-over-par 74 yesterday.
JETTA FRASER Enlarge

After three straight weeks of enduring media frenzies, Stacy Lewis is ready for a break.

After leading going into the final round at the U.S. Women's Open, then playing the Northwest Arkansas Classic in the same area where she went to college, followed by a stop in her native Toledo, Lewis said she needs some time to rest before possibly playing the Futures Tour later in the season. Lewis finished tied for 17th in the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, taking home a $15,501 paycheck.

"It's been insane," Lewis said. "I'm ready for a break and to calm down a little bit. This is a good start to the rest of this year. I can't wait to get back out there."

Yesterday, Lewis had her worst round of the week with a 3-over-par 74. She had a double bogey on No. 14. She was able to come up with two birdies after that, though.

"I played pretty well all week, I just didn't get the right bounces today and didn't get a couple putts to fall. I birdied 17 and made a great par on 18 so it's a good way to finish."

Farr Classic tournament director Judd Silverman has given Lewis a sponsor exemption for the last three years. He hasn't been disappointed.

"We offered her this year's right away. When they walked off the green last year we said, you've got another one," Silverman said.

"Knowing it was her senior year, she would be turning pro, we want to help her, provide the opportunity. She's a great kid and we're watching her get better every year."

Lewis hasn't scheduled her Futures Tour dates yet and also wants to play in the Safeway Classic Aug. 22-24. Before that she has maid-of-honor duties for her elder sister, Beth, in two weeks in The Woodlands, north of Houston.

TURNER SAYS GOODBYE: Sherri Turner has played in 16 Farr Classics, but this was her last. Turner is retiring at the end of the 2008 season.

Her best finish here was a tie for seventh place in 1987.

Yesterday she shot 6-over-par 77 to finish tied for 46th.

"I think I probably am the one that's played in the most Farrs," Turner said. "I've had an enjoyable time here. This has been one of my favorite Tour stops the last 25 years with Jamie being here. Toledo's going to be one of the places that's going to be hard to walk away from."

Actually, Turner has not played in the most Farrs by far. Meg Mallon has played in 23.

PAK WILL BE BACK: Se Ri Pak knows there's no time limit on making history.

Even though she didn't win her sixth Farr Classic this year, she was mostly satisfied with her performance, finishing at 5-under for the tournament and a tie for 17th place.

"Maybe I had too high of expectations this week," Pak said. "There was a lot of pressure to go for six. But we still have many years to go. This is not the last year. I'm still feeling pretty great."

Pak had her third-best finish of the year. She only lamented her putting.

"I played really solid four rounds," Pak said. "With a couple putts I would be right there. This is probably the first time I'm not making putts on these greens."

HELP FROM THE PRESS: Janice Moodie's approach shot on hole 18 yesterday went a little too far, but a lucky strike left her in a good position.

Her ball traveled to the lower wall of the grandstand right into the knee of Rob Powers, WTVG lead sports anchor. Powers saw the ball coming on his camera viewfinder and said he raised his knee. The ball bounced off his thigh and landed on the fringe of the green. Moodie was able to save par.

CAN'T CLOSE: Eun-Hee Ji was four shots off the lead entering yesterday, but was unable to make up ground on Paula Creamer and dropped one spot to finish third. Ji picked up three bogeys compared to just two birdies and finished the round 1-over. She admitted to being a little nervous trying to catch the leader.

"Today I had some bad play," Ji said.

WIE STRUGGLES: Michelle Wie's bid to earn full LPGA status is in peril after the 18-year-old struggled at the Farr Classic, finishing tied for 46th at 1 over.

To earn a nonexempt card, one must finish the season in the top 80 of the money list. After pocketing $4,831 this week, Wie has earned $26,288 this season. Last year, the 80th-ranked golfer won $117,128. Wie has just two tournaments to make up ground.

"I'm not really thinking about that now," Wie said. "I'm just thinking that I'm playing good, my ball striking is good, and I just have to work on my short game and my putting a little bit. I haven't played in a lot of tournaments. I just need to get back into things."

Should Wie fail to make enough money to get her card, she may try to earn exempt status through the LPGA qualifying tournament.

Wie will return to Stanford in the fall, where she has yet to declare a major.

Her favorite courses include math and Japanese.

"I love calculus," she said. "I'm pretty much a nerd for saying that."

AUSSIE STARS: On a day when strong winds frustrated the field, Katherine Hull was able to battle the conditions to finish 4-under for the round and 10-under for the tournament.

The Aussie came in sixth place to match her previous season-best finish.

"I hit it pretty well all day and made three putts in a row on the back nine," Hull said.

"It's unfortunate to finish with a bogey, but I'm really happy with the round."

OUT AND IN: Angela Stanford picked up a par on No. 18 in dramatic fashion. The Texas native finished ninth overall at 8-under.

"My caddie and I saw it right to left the whole way," Stanford said of her final shot.

"I hit it and it was moving right to left and I thought I missed it. I started walking and somehow it curled back to the right and went in."

ON THE DL: Laura Diaz withdrew during the course of play yesterday due to an undisclosed injury. She left the course on a cart after hitting her second shot to No. 16, her seventh hole of the day. She was 1-over for the tournament when she withdrew.



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