The 2012 KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior Open started off on a high note with a visit from the No. 2 ranked female golfer in the world, Stacy Lewis herself.
As she prepared to head to Wisconsin for the 2012 U.S. Women's Open, Lewis took time out of her busy schedule to attend a barbeque and meet-and-greet with volunteers and players of the first-year AJGA event, opening the floor to questions, autographs, and pictures.
An alum of the American Junior Golf Association, Lewis played in eight tournaments during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, crediting the organization for giving her great opportunities in the world of golf and helping her to realize her potential.
“My initial involvement [with the AJGA] was back in high school when I played in a few tournaments,” Lewis said to the crowd of over 100 people, “I didn’t play in a lot, but it got me enough exposure to get to college.”
A four-time NCAA All-American golfer and graduate from the University of Arkansas, Lewis jumped at the opportunity to host an event in the state that helped her to mature and develop both as a person and player.
“I got a call from the city of Bentonville about this time a year ago asking if I would be willing to put my name on a tournament,” Lewis recalled as if it was yesterday. “I’m all about creating opportunities for juniors to play. The more tournaments they play in the better.”
Closing in on becoming the No. 1 golfer in the world, Lewis wasn’t always as good as she is today, noting that her best finish in an AJGA event was fourth place. Lewis, however, stressed the importance of enjoying golf, not just playing it.
“I would say to just enjoy it and have fun. If it feels like a job, then you’re playing for the wrong reasons.”
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior Open is a 54-hole stroke play event held at Bella Vista Village - Highlands Golf Course. The tournament field consists of 96 boys and 36 girls, ages 12-18, from 21 states, including 23 from Arkansas. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,969 yards while the Girls Division playing it at 5,959.
By James Millard