Local favorite Lewis leads group of 4 atop leaderboard at 10 under at NW Arkansas Championship

  • Article by: KURT VOIGT , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: June 23, 2013 - 9:07 AM

ROGERS, Ark. — Stacy Lewis has made no secret about her desire to earn a championship in front of her adopted hometown fans.

The world's No. 2 golfer has also been open about how that internal pressure has caused her to struggle in recent years at the LPGA NW Arkansas Championship.

Lewis put all distractions aside on Saturday, shooting a 6-under 65 to join a group of four players atop the leaderboard at 10 under overall after the second round of the tournament at Pinnacle Country Club.

The round was a welcomed bit of excitement for a surging and vocal gallery that followed Lewis' every shot. It was especially gratifying for the former world No. 1, who played collegiately at nearby Arkansas — and who has struggled to contend in recent years at the tournament.

Lewis earned an unofficial win at the rain-shortened event as an amateur in 2007. Since then, however, the former Rookie of the Year and last year's Player of the Year entered this week having finished in an average of 23rd place in front of her many fans — including a 49th-place finish last year.

Back-to-back wins earlier this year briefly vaulted Lewis into the top spot in the world rankings, a position she said prepared her for the hectic schedule she faces this week.

"It's everything I deal with this year with the week that I became No. 1 in the world. It was just chaos," Lewis said. "Dealing with that pressure of being No. 1 in the world, I learned a lot from that.

"I honestly think that's why I've come here this week and it doesn't seem so busy anymore, doesn't seem too hard to play with all the fans."

Chie Arimura and Beatriz Recari both equaled Lewis' 65 on Saturday and are tied entering the final round with So Yeon Ryu.

I.K. Kim and defending champion Ai Miyazato tied for the lowest round of the day, each shooting a 7-under 64.

First-round leader Mika Miyazato shot a 70 and is three shots back, while top-ranked Inbee Park leads a group of three players two shots back at 8 under.

They will all be chasing Lewis on Sunday, at least in terms of the attention from the galleries to begin with. She will be paired with Recari in the final grouping of the day, and she is well aware of the excitement she will feel.

"I think the harder part is I'm going to want it so bad, and I know the fans are going to want me to get it really bad," Lewis said. "So, it's going to be hard. The hardest part is going to be staying patient and not trying to force putts and running them four feet by (the hole)."

Lewis was as low as 11 under after 17 holes on Saturday, thanks in large part to needing only 27 putts for her round — a number that included several near misses and a three-putt on her final hole. The 28-year-old Lewis, who played during the morning, thrilled her pro-Arkansas gallery with four straight birdies on her first nine holes.

After starting on the back nine, she birdied holes 14-17 to reach 8 under before the par-5 18th took its toll. Lewis' approach on her third shot came up just short and rolled to the bottom of the hill in front of the green. Her following chip did the same.

Fortunately for Lewis, she managed to save bogey with an up-and-down — thanks to her fifth straight one-putt. She then reached 11 under after four more birdies later in her round before bogeying her final hole of the day.

Lewis will have plenty of challengers Sunday on a leaderboard that features seven players within two shots of the lead, including Park — with two major wins this year.

Arimura, the rookie from China, also needed only 27 putts on Saturday in shooting a bogey-free 65. She tied for the lead with birdies on her final two holes. Ryu birdied the par-5 7th hole — her 16th hole of the round — to reach 10 under in the final tournament before next week's U.S. Open.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston - WP: T. Sipp 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 1
San Francisco - WP: T. Hudson 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 3
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 5
Chicago WSox - LP: D. Webb 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 4
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 8 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 0
Atlanta - WP: D. Hale 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: M. Parra 1
Seattle - WP: D. Leone 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6 FINAL
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 8 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 3
Detroit - LP: R. Ray 6 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: R. Pressly 20
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 13 FINAL
Colorado - LP: F. Morales 5
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 1 FINAL
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 5
LA Angels - LP: J. Grilli 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 5
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: D. Haren 6
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Chicago 80 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Los Angeles 72 FINAL
Phoenix 75
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close