Updated 8:45 p.m.
The Cambia Portland Classic grew in importance to Stacy Lewis this week after she pledged to donate her winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort to aid her Houston hometown.
Lewis rose to the occasion Friday at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.
She put up an 8-under-par 64 to grab a share of the second-round lead with Brooke Henderson and In Gee Chun.
At 10 under overall, Lewis was two shots ahead with the afternoon wave going off.
Playing for a larger purpose, Lewis said, inspired her.
“I think you have a lot of good positive momentum on your side, a lot of people cheering for you, a lot of people encouraging just because they want to see you do well, because they want to see that big check go to Houston,” Lewis said.
Lewis is seeking her 12th LPGA title, her first in three years, since winning the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in June of 2014.
Full-field scores from the Cambia Portland Open
Lewis knows there’s a ways to go, but she said a victory would rank among her most meaningful triumphs.
“It would honestly, probably, be one of the most special,” Lewis said. “It would probably be up there with a major. That was the goal to start the week … to take a big check home. That’s still the goal. Now I’m in a good spot to do that.”
The first-place check is $195,000.
The tournament is also donating ticket sales to the relief effort.
Whether Lewis takes home the winner’s check or not, she feels good about winning assistance for those in need in her hometown. She is also joining in University of Houston basketball coach Kelvin Sampson’s shirts and shoes relief effort. Sampson has challenged coaches across the country to send 20 T-shirts and 10 pairs of shoes to help those suffering the effects of Hurricane Harvey. In Oregon, home to Nike, Lewis has challenged fellow players there to get involved in helping collect shoes.
“Hopefully, we’ll take a bunch of shoes home and take a big check home, too,” Lewis said.
Lewis and her husband, University of Houston women’s golf coach Gerrod Chadwell, have a home on the northeast side of Houston. While their house has been spared, they are intent on helping others who aren’t so lucky.