Michelle Wie, Stacy Lewis: friends linked by golf

SOUTHPORT, England (AP) -- The friendly matches in South Florida can involve as many as eight players, with teams decided by drawing names from a hat.

Michelle Wie would seem to be a great pick, except for the timing.

"We usually play in the morning and then go have lunch," Stacy Lewis said Tuesday. "And she usually gets very focused on the lunch and kind of doesn't pay attention to the whole golf side of it. She'll tell you the same thing."

Wie laughed when told the story Lewis shared. Wie loves her golf and works hard at it. She also loves her food so much that before dinner gets to the table she's already thinking about the next night's menu.

For two personalities that could not be any more different, Wie and Lewis have become close friends.

One is an artist, the other a technician.

"You go to her house, she's painted everything that's on her walls," Lewis said. "I need my sister to help me decorate."

One is tall and powerful, the other is compact and precise.

"That's what Stacy is. She's consistent," Wie said. "She's deadly consistent. Annoyingly consistent."

One thing they have in common is a college diploma, rare in women's golf these days. And even that was different. Lewis graduated from Arkansas before she turned pro. Wie graduated from Stanford more than six years after she turned pro.

They are major champions and Nos. 1-2 on the LPGA Tour money list. And more than any two players, they are leading an American revival in women's golf, which resumes this week at Royal Birkdale.

Lewis began this recent surge of American success in the majors by capturing the Ricoh Women's British Open at St. Andrews last summer. Wie won the U.S. Women's Open last month at Pinehurst No. 2, making it around the Donald Ross greens without a three-putt over 72 holes. She won by two shots over Lewis, who rushed over from the practice range to be among the first to congratulate her.

A week later, Lewis rallied to beat Wie in Arkansas and take over the No. 1 spot on the money list, raising curiosity about a budding rivalry.

It's too early for that, and there are too many other players in the mix.

"I feel very honored that people are putting me up against Stacy -- No. 1 in the world, obviously," Wie said. "I don't think you'll find a rivalry where we hate each other or anything. But I want her to do well. I think she wants me to do well. But I think it's fun because we definitely want to beat each other. I don't want to lose to her but at the same time, I was really happy that she won in Arkansas and I think she was really happy I won at the U.S. Open, so I think it's very cool."

Lewis had to overcome more obstacles. Scoliosis forced her to wear a back brace for 18 hours a day from age 11 until she had surgery to insert a metal rod in her back before heading off to college. She has 11 wins, two majors and is the only American to be LPGA player of the year in the last 20 years.

Wie is the bigger star, the player who makes everyone look when she walks into a room.

"I don't know if anybody could be a female Tiger Woods, but Michelle definitely moves the needle," Lewis said. "I think her playing good golf is good for everyone. It's good for the tour and it's good for the other players. I said the U.S. Open couldn't have been scripted any better. We're on our biggest stage there and our biggest star winning there -- and she won't even tell you that, but she is our biggest star. Her winning was huge for us."

Their paths first crossed at another U.S. Women's Open.

Lewis made her pro debut at Interlachen in 2008 and played in the last group before finishing third. Wie didn't break 80 in the first round and had gone two years without finishing in the top 10 on the LPGA Tour. They played together at Q-school later that year. Lewis was medalist. Wie got the headlines for earning her card.

"I knew as much about her as everybody did, just seeing her on TV and stuff like that," Lewis said. "A lot of players, your perception changes once you meet them."

They met as teammates on the Solheim Cup. They are now neighbors in Florida. They practice together. They have the same trainer and are motivated by how hard each other works. They spent Fourth of July together. It rained all day, so they hung out all day, talked and set off a few fireworks.

"I don't really know what it is, but I enjoy hanging around her," Lewis said. "It's cool how I've learned a lot from her, how she handles the media and how she's handled the pressures and expectations. She doesn't read anything that anybody writes and she doesn't really care what anybody thinks about her. Wish I could be like that, too."






‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Posters Introduce the Rebels

'Hunger Games: Mockingjay' Posters Introduce the Rebels | Variety

The promotional campaign for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1? is in full swing ahead of the film's Nov. 21 release, and Lionsgate has released six "Rebel Warriors" posters, showcasing some of District 13's rebels in the fight against President Snow(Donald Sutherland) and the Capitol.

Characters featured in the new posters include Liam Hemsworth's Gale, Katniss' (Jennifer Lawrence) best friend and one third of the franchise's love triangle; Boggs (Mahershala Ali) who serves as Katniss' protector in her new role as the uprising's "Mockingjay"; Cressida ("Game of Thrones" star Natalie Dormer), a propaganda filmmaker who works with Katniss to undermine the Capitol; her assistant, Messalla (Evan Ross); and brothers Castor (Wes Chatham) and Pollux (Elden Henson), Cressida's cameramen.

Previous promos for the penultimate installment in the blockbuster franchise have featured ominous propaganda posters and chilling missives from President Snow, urging the citizens of Panem to unite (or suffer the consequences), while a more recent trailer teases the rebels beginning to weaken Snow's hold over the Districts by hacking into the Capitol's official broadcast to reassure the populace that "the Mockingjay lives." Another set of subdued posters highlights former Hunger Games competitors and mentors including Finnick (Sam Claflin), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Effie (Elizabeth Banks).

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1? hits theaters on Nov. 21.





Arthur to Crash Atlantic Coast July Fourth Beach Vacations

In a case of very bad timing, Arthur will bring dangerous surf and a period of wet weather to many Atlantic coast beaches during the Fourth of July.

Millions of people from Daytona Beach, Florida, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Wildwood, New Jersey; the Hamptons, New York; and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, will be impacted on their vacation during part of this week.

Even though the track of Arthur will take the center east of most beaches Thursday, Friday and Saturday, winds offshore will create large swells which will propagate onshore in the form of powerful waves as well as frequent, strong rip currents. Meteorologist Mark Mancuso has more details on these dangerous rip currents in the video below.

People are urged to obey restrictions on the beach and in the surf this weekend. Failure to do so may put not only themselves at risk but also their would-be rescuers.

The surf will continue to build through Friday along much of the East coast as Arthur strengthens.

Surf conditions and seas will remain rough Friday and Saturday from the Delmarva Peninsula to New Jersey, Long Island and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

With the approach and passage of Arthur, pleasure boaters should check for the latest advisories and warnings. People should consider keeping their craft in port or remaining within the protection of the Intracoastal Waterway. The latest information on Arthur, including watches, warnings and advisories can be found on the Hurricane Center.

Gusty squalls will reach the coastal areas from Florida to South Carolina for some time into Thursday. Typical summertime drenching storms are possible on Friday over Florida.

The worst weather and the greatest risk of heavy rain and gusty winds in eastern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia, the Delmarva Peninsula and New Jersey will be late Thursday into Friday morning.

In the coastal areas of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, there is the risk of flooded roadways, damaging gusts and blinding downpours in squalls. The power could go out in some communities.

The combination of storm surge and tides will produce a coastal inundation of 1-3 feet with localized inundation of 4 feet from North Carolina to southeastern Virginia. Arthur may have enough impact on parts of this area for officials to prompt mandatory evacuations. Hyde County, North Carolina, officials issued a voluntary evacuation order for Ocracoke Island, effective on Wednesday.

Farther north from Long Island to the southern New England beaches, drenching downpours and gusty winds are forecast Thursday night into Friday night. There is a risk of flash flooding in this area with minor coastal flooding possible on portions of Long Island and Cape Cod.

The worst weather will end prior to the surf subsiding, so many will still be able to enjoy their stay at the beach safely, as long as they observe restrictions set forth by authorities.

Sunshine will return to South Carolina on Friday morning, and clearing will expand northeastward to eastern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula Friday afternoon and evening.

During Saturday and Sunday, the sun will be shining on most areas from the Carolinas to southeastern New England with a dramatic drop in humidity.

After tropical moisture and a front bring the risk of flooding downpours and gusty thunderstorms into part of the Fourth of July, clearing is forecast in time for fireworks from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, and New York City. However, rain could spoil the show at Boston.

There is a risk of typical spotty thunderstorms lingering into the evening around Florida for fireworks locations such as Walt Disney World.

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