Stacy Lewis hadn't won a LPGA event since the 2014 NW Arkansas Championship. The two-time major winner had racked up a dozen second-place checks, but she hadn't broken through since her third win of the '14 campaign.
Just like any week, winning was the goal going into the 2017 Cambia Portland Classic. Break the skid, get the trophy and prove to herself she can still finish off tournaments. However, for The Woodlands, Texas, native, who now lives in Houston, this week was also unlike any other. As she played the week prior in the Canadian Pacific Women's Open, Lewis was in Ottawa as her home town and surrounding region were battered, flooded and crushed by Hurricane Harvey and its unprecedented rain dump on southeastern Texas. Perhaps feeling somewhat helpless about what to do next, Lewis made a selfless gesture, announcing she would donate her entire check from Columbia Edgewater Country Club to help Harvey victims.
Then, on Sunday, Lewis did something she had been waiting 38-plus months to do: win.
Lewis finished at 20-under 268, beating In Gee Chun by a shot to earn her 12th LPGA win, end a maddening drought and, most importantly, earn $195,000 for hurricane victims.
— LPGA (@LPGA) September 3, 2017
"We are going to be able to help people rebuild houses and get their homes back,” Lewis said. “That’s more important than any win."
After the final putt dropped and Lewis hugged her caddie, she walked toward her husband, University of Houston women's golf coach Gerrod Chadwell, who had flown into Portland as a surprise days after he had to do his best to assess the physical state of his program. The two had an emotional embrace. It was impossible not to root for that moment, knowing all of the things that had to happen for Lewis to come out triumphant after an 82-tournament winless skid.
"You go through all the emotions of finishing second when sometimes it's your fault and sometimes it's not, and things just don't seem to ever go your way and you get really frustrated at times,” Lewis said. “Gerrod went through all of that with me, and it was probably as hard on him as it was on me. So just to have him here and get to share the win with him was pretty special."
Even better, Lewis' generous pledge led to more more for Harvey victims, with Lewis' sponsors stepping up with money. Consulting firm KPMG agreed to match Lewis' donation dollar-for-dollar, adding another $195,000 to the money Lewis inspired. On top of that, Marathon Petroleum, another of Lewis' sponsors, pledged $1 million in donations.
With her four days of effort and inspiration, Stacy Lewis brought $1.39 million back home to help her community.