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Number crunching: Stacy Lewis counts 2016 as good year, despite drop in rankings

http://golfweek.com/2016/12/23/stacy-lewis-lpga-rankings/

(This is the sixth in a 10-part series examining some of the notable movers up and down in the 2016 Golfweek/Sagarin Ratings.)

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RANKING/MOVEMENT: -10 (No. 3 to 13)

Why the fall? First off, don’t fret for Lewis. The former World No. 1 counts 2016 as a good year, despite the drop in stature. For starters, she got married. Major life changes off the golf course often have an impact inside the ropes, something Lewis addressed at an emotional press conference in the spring at the ANA Inspiration.

Put simply, her priorities changed.

“I’m just not at the point where I‘m playing for a ranking,” Lewis said. “I did the whole thing of the run to the No. 1 player, and it’s not a goal anymore.”

Lewis, who notched eight top-10s in 2016, hasn’t won a golf tournament since June 2014. Winning remains the priority, of course. But she takes pride in her fourth-place finish at the Olympic Games and Team USA’s victory at the International Crown.

During the summer, Lewis played in six consecutive tournaments, got married, went on a honeymoon and then flew to Rio de Janeiro. It led to exhaustion and a head cold.

She took off an unprecedented five weeks in the fall to recover. The happy couple took in college football games, an Astros game and country music concerts near their home in Houston.

“I did more in five weeks than I’d done in two years,” said Lewis, “as far as having a normal life.”

Going forward, Lewis plans to be more selective in her schedule. The goal is to play where she’s happy and when she’s rested.

As for a technical explanation for her drop in the rankings, look to putting. Lewis finished outside the top three in putts per greens in regulation on tour for the first time since 2011.

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She said it

“Seeing what these girls are doing at 20 years old, I can’t go play 30 events a year and be happy and enjoy it. Probably getting married changes that a lot.”

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