Stacy Lewis admitted that needing to pull from the week’s Solheim Cup has been one of the toughest decisions of her profession as she prepares for her job on the support staff.
Lewis suffered a back injury at Portland and had been restricted to short game training because, prompting her to inform Juli Inkster of her situation and make sure that Ally McDonald, alternative, was at Gleneagles a couple of days earlier than anticipated.
Before the realisation dawned her back problem had not recovered two-time big champion Lewis, who’s played in the last four Solheim Cup competitions, hit only a handful of shots during practice on Monday .
Inkster announced the Lewis would be replaced by McDonald, who becomes the rookie on the visiting team, however, also the Team USA captain insisted that Lewis would have a role to play behind the scenes.
“It’s really been a rough, I imagine, a half an hour,” said an emotional Lewis. “It started Friday at Portland, but that I thought I’d give it two or three times and it’d get better. I understand my spine and I understand my body well, and it is not the very first time that I’ve had issues that are back.
“And, if it was not a few days, that is when I called Juli, and I just wanted Ally to be here as peace of mind for the group and for everyone. I have been coping with physios at physios and home here, and yesterday it just didn’t go. I believed it was that, in a couple of days, I was not going in order to be ripping drivers.
“I did not even need to say anything to Juli. I think we both kind of knew this was the choice thus we advised Ally to get ready. I didn’t want to make this choice, but it is what’s ideal for the group and what’s ideal for me with my physique.”
Lewis was awarded a captain’s pick to add expertise to her line-up by inkster, and she praised Lewis’ honesty.
She said:”Stacy’s been really up front, very honest with me. She realised it is a team event and we need 12 players. And she realised that Ally needs to have a feel for the golf program.
“Stacy went out and hit a couple of shots on Monday and it didn’t go well, and now I believe we both kind of understood it wasn’t likely to go well. Because she is one of our leaders, because I picked Stacy, it’s just a tough decision and I needed her to perform.
“However, I feel like I really have the best of both worlds ; I have a nutritious participant in Ally, and I’ve Stacy helping out us. It’s disappointing for her, but I said eight years from now it is going to become a small blip in your life. You’ve got a ton more Solheim Cups, and you have got a great deal more golf this year that you need to consider.”
Lewis thanked her team-mates for their support because it became clear she would need to draw, and that she spent a lot of Tuesday’s practice.
“I’ve had the time to process it and also the team’s been super supportive,” she added. “The women are great and they have helped me a lot through it. It is just really, very disappointing since this is my favourite tournament we’ve. And first tee, there is nothing like this. So I’m just disappointed I don’t have to hit on that shot. But I’ll be watching.”
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