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[Valhalla Hills]Lewis qualifies for Jr PGA Championship

2021-07-08 09:08 Tag:

  “It was really exciting to win it in front of her,” Lewis said. “It was cool to win by a lot. She was able to see some good golf.”

  Lewis fired a two-day score of 2-over 144, including a 1-under 71 in the first round for a three-shot lead over Wentzville’s Mia Rallo, a state champion golfer for St. Joseph’s Academy. Lewis shot a 1-over 73 on the second day to lock up the six-stroke victory.

  With the win, Lewis qualified for the 45th Girls Junior PGA Championship on July 27-30 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

  “I’m super excited for it,” Lewis said.

  It will be Lewis’ second appearance for the Junior PGA Championship. She played in the 44th Girls Junior PGA Championship in Hartford, Connecticut.

  The win at Crescent Hills was only part of a busy summer for Lewis.

  “The summer has been good. There’s been a lot of golf,” Lewis said.

  Playing at the 88th Illinois Women’s Amateur Championship at Pine Meadow Golf Club in Mundelein from June 15-17, Lewis advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament before losing to Marquette Catholic’s Gracie Piar.

  Lewis opened the tournament with a 2-over 74 to finish in a fifth-place tie in the qualifying round on June 15.

  “It was super good,” Lewis said. “I played pretty well in the qualifying round despite only getting about five hours of sleep since we were driving from St. Louis. I was pretty happy with that.”

  In the Round of 32, Lewis 4 and 3 over Jillian Cosler – Lewis was winning by four holes with three holes left. Lewis followed that with a 6 and 5 victory over Caroline Dayton’s in the Round of 16 to set up a showdown with her friend.

  Piar earned the 1 up victory in a match that stayed tight from start to finish. Piar’s largest lead was 2 up after nine holes but Lewis rallied to go 1 up after the 13th and 15th holes.

  Piar, though, recovered and took the next two holes, going 1 up, and the two each had a par on the 18th hole.

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  “I made two bogeys in a row and she made pars so I went down a hole with No. 18 to play,” Lewis said. “It was pretty even the entire time. We both shot the same score (80) but she won the match.

  “If I had to lose to anyone, I was glad it was her.”

  It was just two months ago that Lewis and Piar played together at the USGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas, after qualifying with a win at the Sunriver Golf Club in St. George, Utah, back in November.

  It was a much different atmosphere in Mundelein.

  “Typically, when I play a match, I’m not very social and I keep more to myself. We really didn’t talk very much,” Lewis said. “After it was over, it was back to normal. It was fun to get to play against her.”

  Also this summer, Lewis won the PGA Gateway Tour tournament at Spencer T. Olin Golf Course in Alton and took third at a U.S. Junior Qualifying Tournament.

  Lewis is currently playing in the Bubba Conlee National Tournament in Memphis, Tennessee. The tournament runs through July 1.

  “I love it,” Lewis said. “It’s a lot of travel, but I really enjoy it. I’m playing against people from all over the country but I’ve met them in other tournaments. I’m not going into these tournaments not knowing anybody. It’s really funny how small the golf community really is.”