Stacy Lewis is back on tour with her batteries recharged for the run down the home stretch to the LPGA season.
With a 5-under-par 67 Friday, Lewis is in early contention at the 54-hole Toto Japan Classic, just one shot off the lead at the Taiheiyo Club in Ibaraki.
Lewis took five weeks off after the Evian Championship in September, making her return to tour at last week’s Sime Darby Malaysia. It has been a year of transition for the former world No. 1. She got married the week before the Olympics in August.
“Things definitely are changing,” Lewis said. “I’ve changed my schedule, the way I do things. You just have different priorities and kind of realize there are other things to life than just playing golf all the time, but that doesn’t change how you play on the golf course. You can still win and have just a little bit more enjoyment off the course.”
Lewis, 31, is seeking her 12th LPGA title, her first since winning the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in the summer of 2014.
“The golf swing just felt really good today, probably as good as it has felt all year,” Lewis said.
Lewis likes Japan, and it shows in her record there. She won this event four years ago. She has finished T-8 or better in five of her last six starts in the event.
“I just like being here,” Lewis said. “It’s one of my favorite countries we visit. I think you just come with good vibes.”
Lewis is feeling refreshed after her long break.
“I just needed a break,” she said. “It was like starting the year again, so it was really nice coming back. I just felt like I could do some things the last three weeks.”