Ex-Razorback golfers snag LPGA Tour sponsorship from Arizona REIT

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 727 views 

Former University of American All-American golfers Stacy Lewis and Brooke Matthews have picked up LPGA Tour sponsorship agreements from STORE Capital Co. (NYSE:STOR). STORE Capital is a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The company’s sponsorship deal also includes agreements with LPGA Tour players Lauren Stephenson, Fatima Fernandez Cano and Sarah Schmelzel.

The sponsorship begins this week (June 2-5) at the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C. The STORE Capital logo will appear on each athlete’s left collar in competition this season.

“We are thrilled to support the tremendous women golfers of Team STORE,” said Mary Fedewa, CEO of STORE Capital. “The LPGA Tour has a long history of successfully raising charitable dollars for initiatives that expand opportunities for women and girls, and creating a positive impact on the communities hosting their tournaments. We look forward to a successful relationship that will provide opportunities for these athletes to excel.”

A Texas native, Lewis attended the UA from 2004-2008. She redshirted her freshman season after back surgery related to scoliosis, which was diagnosed at age 11 and treated by a spinal fusion when she was in high school. In her four competitive seasons, Lewis won 12 tournaments — six in her senior year — and was ranked the world’s No. 1-ranked amateur in her final two seasons.

She finished her career as a four-time All-Southeastern Conference performer and four-time All-American. She also won a pair of SEC Championship titles, first as a freshman in 2005, and again as a senior in 2008. She is a member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame (2013), the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor (2014) and the Arkansas State Golf Association Hall of Fame (2020).

Lewis is a 13-time winner on the LPGA Tour and was formerly the number-one ranked player in the world for 25 weeks. She has competed on the U.S. Solheim Cup team on four occasions and was named as the team’s Captain for 2023.

“STORE Capital is making a big investment in women’s golf, and I’m honored to be a part of their initiative,” Lewis said. “I am proud be aligned with a company that sees the value in women’s sports and wants to play a role in making lasting and equitable changes.”

Matthews, a Rogers native, secured her LPGA status for 2022 through the LPGA Qualifying Series and turned professional in December 2021. She won four tournaments in college and is a two-time Arkansas state amateur champion (2019 and 2020).

Matthews holds the NCAA record for the lowest 54-hole score at 25-under-par at the 2021 Cougar Classic in Hanahan, S.C., and competed on the U.S. Curtis Cup team in 2021 in North Wales. She also competed on the LPGA Tour as an amateur at the 2020 and 2021 Walmart NWA Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, her home course.

“I am honored that STORE Capital believes in my potential as a young golfer and is making an investment in my career and the LPGA Tour as a whole,” Matthews said. “They are committed to making a positive impact in their communities, and I’m proud to partner with a company whose values align with my own.”