Stacy Lewis sounds off on slow play at Ladies Scottish Open
Stacy Lewis claimed her 13th career LPGA win at the Ladies Scottish Open on Sunday, but the thrill of victory didn’t stop her from calling out her playing partners for what she believed was excessively slow play.
Lewis was grouped with Azahara Munoz and Jennifer Song for both Saturday’s third round and Sunday’s final round and said she had a hard time staying in rhythm, even throughout Round 3.
“I think the biggest challenge for me [going into the final round] is staying in what I’m doing,” Lewis said after her third round. “The pace of play is dreadfully slow, and that doesn’t play into my favor. People I’m playing with are pretty slow. So that’s honestly going to be my biggest challenge is to figure out with that pace of play how I can get into a good rhythm and how to keep myself in a rhythm of playing golf and not feeling like you’re waiting so long in between holes and shots and different things.”
Lewis fired a one-over 72 on Sunday to get into a four-way playoff with Munoz, Cheyenne Knight and Emily Kristine Pedersen. Lewis eventually triumphed by draining a 23-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole.
But the thrill of her first victory since 2017 didn’t dampen her continuing disdain for the slow playing conditions, which she said she tried to plan for ahead of her final round.
“We really had a good plan for the golf course itself,” Lewis said. “I told [my caddie] on the second tee, I said, ‘I’m not allowed to complain once about the pace of play.’ So I didn’t allow myself — I didn’t allow it to affect me. I was singing songs in my head, just getting away from everything, just trying to pass the time. So I’m just really proud of the way I handled that.”
Lewis’ group played the final round in five hours and 16 minutes as a threesome.
“It shouldn’t take that long to play,” Lewis said. “I knew it was going to; that’s the sad part, you know it’s going to take that long. I do think an effort needs to be made across the board to play faster, because obviously I wasn’t watching it on TV, but I’m sure it couldn’t have been fun to watch on TV. There’s just so much the announcers, that they can talk about to fill time.
“I’ve been an advocate for changing our pace of play, getting people to play faster for a long time, and we’re still going the other way unfortunately.”
Lewis also has some ideas regarding what should be done to combat slow play in the future.
“I would like to see it be penalties instead of fines,” she said. “I think it needs to be aggressive. I think it needs to change because we’re going — we’re going in the wrong direction.”
Lewis is heading to Royal Troon this week to compete in the AIG Women’s Open, where she hopes to claim her third career major championship, and second Women’s Open.