Stacy Lewis offers sound advice to golf parents

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Stacy Lewis (Scott Halleran/ Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Stacy Lewis had some sound advice for parents Wednesday at the JTBC Founders Cup during a press conference with LPGA-USGA Girls Golf players.

“I always tell parents, `It’s the kids playing. It’s not the parents playing,'” said the third-ranked Lewis, the 2013 tournament champion. “That’s, I think, what kind of some of the big problems are is that they don’t let the kids play. My dad, he sent me off to get lessons with somebody else. There needs to be a line between a golf instructor versus your parent.

“I still tell my dad, even now, I tell him, `Dad, I just want you to be my dad. I want you to be there and give me a hug afterward whether I played bad or whether I played horrible and if I need your help, I’ll ask you.’

“What I do now is technically a job, and my dad doesn’t need to be involved in all of that. I want to keep that relationship good, so just remember that the kids are the ones playing and just let them play.”

Top-ranked Lydia Ko will play the first two rounds with U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie and Na Yeon Choi. They will open Thursday at 7:55 a.m. on No. 10.

Ko has two worldwide victories this year, winning the tour’s Women’s Australian Open and the Ladies European Tour’s New Zealand Women’s Open in consecutive weeks.

Choi won the season-opening Coates Golf Championship in Florida.

Past champions Karrie Webb, Stacy Lewis and Yani Tseng are playing together. They will go off the first tee at 12:51 p.m. Webb won in 2011 and 2014, Lewis in 2013 and Tseng in 2012.

Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods’ niece, is from Phoenix and lives in the area. She earned her tour card last season at Q-school.

“You don’t get many chances throughout the season to really be home,” Woods said. “When I can be home and compete at the same time, it feels so good. I feel really comfortable here in Phoenix. This is home for me, get to sleep in my own bed, have my family come out. So I’ve been looking forward to this event for a long time.”

Alena Sharp is the lone Canadian in the field. She tees-off at 1:24pm.