Tim Cooper has been a member of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sports department since October 1988 and began reporting on high school sports full time in 1993. Cooper, a native of Malvern, attended Henderson State University and worked three years as a sports writer at the Paris News in Paris, Texas, from 1985 to 1988.
For Lewis, accident not a bad thing
Stacy Lewis watches her drive off the 3rd tee Friday afternoon during the first round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers.
Stacy Lewis keeps most of her old golf clubs in her garage in Florida, except for three special ones in a Solheim Cup bag upstairs in her house.
One is a 5-iron that she used at the 17th hole at St. Andrews last year that led to her victory at the Women’s British Open. The other two are putters that produced victories — except one of those putters wasn’t meant to be there.
The first putter is what she used to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship for her first major and then she eventually changed putters.
As for the other?
“And then the one I had most my wins — all of my wins — in 2012 I decided to bend,” said the former Arkansas Razorbacks All-American. “I was able to bend it back, but it was not quite right.”
The smile suggested there was more to the story and there was.
The putter was not bent for technical reasons.
“This was an ‘accident’ bend,” she said.
Toward the end of last year at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Lewis was going through a spell of mediocre putting when she walked off the fourth green and slammed her putter against the bag.
On the next hole, she noticed it was bent and she could no longer use the damaged club. She went to a sand wedge to putt with the leading edge, eventually switched to a pitching wedge and even made a couple of 20-footers. She went to a pro shop and found an Odyssey putter — the Callaway staff estimated it to be 8 years old — and had it prepared to her specifications. Lewis went on to tie for second.
She learned to putt with a wedge in an emergency. She has not slammed her putter against the bag since. And while she was sentimental toward that bent putter, the new one is working out just fine.
Lewis already has won three times this year and is No. 1 in the world.