Stacy Lewis will lead Team USA again this week at the Spirit International Amateur. The Spirit consists of 80 participants from 20 countries, each side being represented by two men and two women. Rose Zhang, Rachel Heck, Sam Bennett and James Piot will represent Team USA from November 4-6 at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas.
With Lewis back at the helm of The Spirit, it seems like an ideal time to look to another leadership role that appears to be her – captain of the US Solheim Cup.
Given the Americans’ loss at Inverness, it seems unlikely that Pat Hurst will get another chance at the top. The committee that makes such decisions is expected to meet in the coming weeks.
Here are five reasons Lewis should be the next captain:
1.Lewis is a born leader – Few current female players have more of an impact on the LPGA as a whole than the former No. 1. Their relationships with personal sponsors led directly to title sponsorship and even the revision of a major in the KPMG Women’s PGA. She is open about important issues and encourages players to find their own voice. One of the rare great thinkers in the game.
2. Your style is right at the moment – Lewis is a no-nonsense communicator. Players will always know where they stand and what to expect. Players respect transparency. She is also the type of person who is willing to listen and adjust when necessary. At a time when Team USA seems to be finding its new identity after Juli Inkster and American loyalists like Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel, Lewis seems like the ideal candidate to offer a mix of old and new.
3. Your CV – Lewis has won 13 LPGA wins, including major victories at the 2011 ANA Inspiration and 2013 AIG Women’s British Open. Lewis, a two-time LPGA Rolex Player of the Year winner, became the first American to win the Award won. She also won the Vare Trophy in 2013 and 2014. Her Solheim Cup record of 5-10-1 is certainly missing, but that doesn’t detract from her zeal for the event. If anything, she probably wanted it too badly.
4th Equipped for consecutive years – It wouldn’t be surprising if the next Solheim Cup captains (for both sides) took over the job in both 2023 and 2024. With the Solheim Cup going back in just years, it doesn’t seem fair to name a new captain in 2024 and give her less than a year to prepare. Given Lewis’ previous experience, who supported the team in both 2019 (after she retired due to injury) and 2021 (after she was not selected), she is familiar with what it takes to run the show. Lewis is by nature a disciplined and structured player who deals with both the press and everyone on tour. He’s best equipped to tackle the chaos of two Solheims in two years.
5. Nobody else seems ready – Lewis will be 38 when the next Solheim Cup takes place. The youngest US captain to date was Patty Sheehan in 2002 at the age of 45. I can think of a couple of older players for the job: Angela Stanford, 43, and Cristie Kerr, 44. Both should become captains in due course. Stanford, who served as Hurst’s deputy captain that year, said she’d like to learn more before taking on the role. She would also like to play in a Solheim. Kerr didn’t make the team in 2021 and has yet to be deputy captain. The previous experience of the captain’s assistant seems more important than ever in view of the successive trophies.
And there is enough time for Michelle Wie West, Creamer and Pressel. Will Dottie Pepper ever fit into the captain’s equation? Possibly.
But the time is right for Lewis.