Mobile, AL – Stacy Lewis fended off Lexi Thompson down the stretch on Sunday to win the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.
Lewis, whose first tour win was at the 2011 Kraft Nabisco, closed with a three-under 69 to finish at 17-under-par 271 and win for the second time on the LPGA Tour.
"I feel like I've been close to winning ever since, and people were saying I haven't been winning and kind of knocking on the door. I'm just so glad to get it done and get it out of the way," Lewis said in a TV interview.
Thompson, who shared the third-round lead at this event last year before closing with a 78, fired a seven-under 65 to finish one back at minus-16.
Karine Icher took third at 15-under-par 273 after a final-round 68 on the Crossing Course at Magnolia Grove, which is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
Reigning U.S. Women's Open champ So Yeon Ryu and Azahara Munoz both closed with four-under 68s to share fourth place at 12-under-par 276. They were joined there by Karrie Webb (69), Brittany Lincicome (72) and Kraft Nabisco winner Sun Young Yoo (70).
Lewis birdied the sixth and was five clear of Thompson, but Lewis ran off eight straight pars from the seventh to let Thompson back into it.
Thompson birdied the 10th to move within three. She followed a birdie on the par-five 13th with a three-foot birdie putt on the par-three 14th to get within two of Lewis.
Lewis then pulled her second shot into the water on 15. She managed to get up and down for bogey, but her lead was down to one for mere minutes.
"I knew when I made bogey on 15, that was huge," Lewis said in a televised interview. "I saw a leaderboard there and saw the lead went to one, and so I knew I needed to birdie 16."
Thompson knocked her second shot at the par-five 16th to eight feet. Her eagle putt slid by the left edge, but she tapped in for birdie to join Lewis in the lead at 16-under.
Lewis answered on the same hole. She chipped her third to two feet and tapped that in for birdie and the one-stroke lead.
Thompson failed to birdie the final two holes to end one back.
"I wouldn't take back any shots that I hit. I hit it pretty good and I was pretty relaxed out there," Thompson said in an interview with Golf Channel. "I didn't look at the leaderboard until probably 18. I was focused on my game."
Lewis two-putted for par from 25 feet out on 17, then did the same from about 50 feet away at the last to seal the win.
"I didn't know what was going on today, I didn't quite have it," Lewis admitted in a television interview. "I fought hard and am exhausted. I'm just glad I didn't have to play more holes."
Early on, Lewis looked as though she was going to run away with the title. She birdied the first from off the green, then converted a six-foot birdie effort on the par-three second to move to 16-under, where she was five clear of the field.
Ryu, who was four groups ahead of the leaders, had five birdies in a seven- hole span to get to 13-under. However, she couldn't keep pace on the back nine.
Thompson had birdied the second and third before a birdie on No. 6 got her to 12-under.
NOTES: Lewis earned $187,500 for the win...This was her fifth top-10 in eight starts this year...Thompson was six back after two rounds, but closed 66-65 to end one back of Lewis, who closed 67-69...Last year's winner, Maria Hjorth, stumbled to a four-over 76 to end in 76th at plus-seven...The tour heads to Brazil next week for the HSBC LPGA Brasil Cup. Mariajo Uribe won that two-day, unofficial event last year.