Stacy Lewis donates $100,000

Monday, July 9, 2012
SOUTHPORT, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 27: Stacy Lewis of USA walks off the 9th tee during pro-am round before 2010 Ricoh Women's British Open held at Royal Birkdale on July 27, 2010 in Southport, England. (Photo by Wojciech Migda)

FAYETTEVILLE -- She was born in Ohio, grew up in Texas, but she's a Razorback through and through. She also happens to be the top American player on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour. And she has worked her way to this position even while suffering from scoliosis, an often debilitating curvature of the spine. She was diagnosed at age 11.

Lewis was redshirted her freshman year at UA because she was rehabilitating from back surgery. "I came here [to the University of Arkansas] a kid that couldn't swing a golf club," she said at a recent press conference. "There was no guarantee I'd ever play golf again and this university and these coaches took a chance on me."

But surgery, rehabilitation and the desire to play golf has put her at the top of the women's' game. On April 1 of this year she won a major LPGA tournament, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. On June 3, Stacy Lewis won her second LPGA tournament of the year, the third of her career, at the ShopRite LPGA Classic. She is currently third in the Rolex World Ranking. To see what she has has had to overcome and deal with go to her appropriately named website­ and look at the bio page to see x-rays of her back, both pre- and post-surgery.

Arkansas alum Stacy Lewis is the real deal. And her commitment to the Razorbacks is just as real. At the announcement press conference Arkansas ladies golf coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said, "It's so fun every week to see that Big Red head cove on [her] golf bag and to know how proud she is to be a part of what we're doing here."

Lewis' $100,000 donation to the women's golf program will give a boost to a five-year program of facility improvement at the Razorback's home course at the Blessings Golf Course in Springdale. The work is facility improvement as well as new construction -- including a chipping and putting building.

"It's a good opportunity -- to kick-start fundraising [for these projects]," Lewis said at the June 27 press conference. "After I made my first pay check at the 2008 US Open I wanted to give back. But I couldn't do anything then." These projects have been in the planning stages for a while. "We want to get this rolling," Lewis said.

Lewis is no stranger to hard work. She elevated the UA's golf program as well as her own game and graduated with a double major in finance and accounting.

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