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May 28, 5:49 PM EDT

Stacy Lewis set for ShotRite LPGA Classic title defense


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GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- Stacy Lewis has three more runner-up finishes in 10 starts this season on the LPGA Tour, the most stinging a playoff loss in the ANA Inspiration in the first major of the year.

"I'm doing a lot of really good things right now," said Lewis, set to begin her title defense Friday in the ShotRite LPGA Classic. "There's a couple of those tournaments I'd like to have won, but that's golf and it's getting harder and harder to win out here. There's some amazing players right now. I just got to keep doing what I'm doing because, obviously, there's nothing wrong with it."

The Texan won three times last year and has 11 career victories. She has finished second 18 times.

"The putting's been really good," Lewis said. "The ball-striking has been a little bit iffy, but if the ball-striking was just a little bit better, I think I would have won a little bit more."

She's comfortable on Stockton Seaview's Bay Course.

"I just like this golf course because it's kind of old school and just the way kind of golf was made to be played," Lewis said. "It's a challenge. There's holes you got to take par on and move on, but then there's holes you can make birdies on. And the greens are tricky."

Last year, Lewis won by six strokes to take the top spot in the world ranking from Inbee Park. Lewis is now No. 3 in the world, behind No. 1 Lydia Ko and No. 2 Park.

Michelle Wie is playing after withdrawing from the Kingsmill Championship two weeks ago because of a left hip injury. She went through a series of evaluations and MRIs and was diagnosed with bursitis.

"They thought it might have been a disk issue, so we went straight to the MRI," Wie said. "Thankfully, it was not a disk issue, which I was really excited about."

DIVOTS: Ko is skipping the tournament. ... The event returned to the tour in 2010. First played in 1986, it folded in 2006 after the previous organizers accused then-Commissioner Carolyn Bivens of providing unsuitable 2007 dates. Bivens resigned in July 2009 after a group of players wrote to the tour's board of directors calling for her to quit. She was replaced by Michael Whan.

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