Gesture Of Goodwill: Lewis Donates Winnings To Hurricane Harvey Fund

Mike Murphy

Stacy Lewis has not won on the LPGA Tour in three years. The last time was June of 2014 and since then she has recorded 12 runner-up finishes.

Before the Cambia Portland Classic this week, Lewis told the press that she would donate 100 percent of her earnings to relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Lewis, a native of Houston, pulled off a Disney-like movie plot when she won the event and $195,000 to send to those in need.

Now that you mention it, Disney probably is already making plans to shoot the movie this year.

“Probably was more pressure, to be honest. Honestly, I think that’s what helped me through the week [is] just knowing people wanted me to do well. People wanted me to win this for Houston. To do it when I added pressure to myself is a pretty good, pretty cool deal.

“Just kind of handed over control and said, ‘Take me. Take me to the finish line. Let me know what happens, God. It was just amazing how when you let go of the control like that, how great you can play.” – Stacy Lewis

The 32-year-old grew up just north of Houston in The Woodlands. She turned pro in 2008 after playing for the University of Arkansas and since then has gathered numerous accolades in her career including the LPGA Player of the Year (2012, 2014), Golf Digest Amateur of the year (2007), and the Vare Trophy (2013, 2014).

All of those awards probably hold a spot on Lewis’ mantle at home, but the act of kindness she extended to the victims of Houston this week will be what she is ultimately remembered for.

Before the start of the week, Lewis said that if she were to win this for Houston that it would rank “up there” with of her two major victories.

In order for this story to be so miraculous, she had to endure the stress of coming in second place for three years. All of that raw emotion came gushing out when her husband, Gerrod Chadwell, the University of Houston women’s golf coach, came out to greet her on the 18th green after her victory.

Lewis had no idea that he was able to make it to the tournament as he hid in the Golf Channel tower until she two-putted for her long-awaited victory.

“I was fine until he showed up, and then I started crying.

“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. He 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.”

Lewis’ two biggest sponsors also contributed to her donation. KPMG matched the $195,000 in tournament earnings, and Marathon Oil added a $1million donation as well.