Stacy Lewis admitted that having to pull out of the week’s Solheim Cup was one of the hardest choices of her career as she prepares for her job on the support staff.
Lewis suffered a back injury at Portland and had been limited since, prompting her husband to notify Juli Inkster of her situation and make sure that Ally McDonald, first alternative, was Gleneagles earlier than scheduled.
Before the realisation dawned her back issue had not recovered sufficiently to perform important champion Lewis, who’s played in the last four Solheim Cup competitions, hit not a lot of shots during training with.
Inkster declared the Lewis could be replaced by McDonald, who becomes the newcomer on the team that was visiting, but the Team USA captain insisted that Lewis would still have a role to play behind the scenes.
“It’s been a tough, I imagine, week and a half,” said a psychological Lewis. “It began Friday at Portland, but I thought I’d give it a couple of times and it would get much better. I know my spine and I know my body very well, and it’s not the first time that I’ve had back problems.
“And, if it was not a couple days, that is when I phoned Juli, and I only needed Ally to be here as peace of mind for the group and for everybody. I’ve been working with physios in the physios and home here, and it just didn’t go. I felt it was like something that, in a few days, I was not likely to be able to function as ripping drivers.
“I did not even need to mention anything to Juli. I think we knew that was the choice to make, thus we told Ally to get ready. I didn’t wish to make that decision, but it’s what is ideal for the team and what’s ideal for me going forward with my physique.”
Inkster granted a captain’s selection to add experience to her line-up to Lewis, and that she commended Lewis’ honesty, hinting that she would remain a valuable asset to the group throughout the week.
She explained:”Stacy’s been really up front, really fair with me. She realised it’s a team event and we need 12 players. And she realised that Ally should get a sense of the golf course.
“Stacy went outside and hit a few shots on Monday and it didn’t go well, and that I think we both kind of knew that it was not likely to go well. It’s only a choice that is difficult because she is one of those leaders, because I chose Stacy and I truly wanted her to perform.
“But I feel as if I really have the best of both worlds right now; I’ve got a nutritious participant in Ally, also I have Stacy helping us out. It’s disappointing to her, but I mentioned ten years from now it is going to be a little blip on your life. You’ve got a ton more Solheim Cups, and you have got a lot more golf this season you will need to consider.”
As it became clear she would have to withdraw, lewis lent her, and that she spent the majority of Tuesday’s clinic alongside McDonald.
“I’ve had time to process it along with the team was supportive,” she added. “The girls are great and they’ve helped me a lot through it. Since this is my tournament we have it really, very disappointing. And that first tee, there’s nothing like it. So I’m just disappointed I do not have to hit that shot. But I’ll be seeing.”
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