How Stacy Lewis is paving the way for mothers in professional golf

Golfing superstar Stacy Lewis, who is six months pregnant with her first child, said her sport often forces women to choose between a steady paycheck and starting a family. She want to see that change, and is paving the way for mothers and female athletes.
 
Lewis has spent most of her career winning. She boasts 12 tour victories, including two major championships, and is considered one of the best talents of her generation.

She has thrived at a game normally considered a solo sport -- but now, she's hardly alone.

"I was setting up to ... just do a practice swing and I felt this kick and it kind of caught me off guard," Lewis told CBS News' Adriana Diaz. "I hadn't really felt one before, so I had to kind of restart and do my practice swing all over again."

The game she loves has become a family affair. Husband Gerrod Chadwell served as her caddy last week. 

Lewis is now getting ready to take maternity leave. But in her sport, if she's not playing, she won't get paid. 

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Stacy Lewis signs an autograph for one of her young fans

CBS News


"What normally happens in golf is the way contracts are written, you get paid based on the number of tournaments you play," Lewis said. "So this year, I think I'm only playing 11 or 12. So if a minimum number of tournaments is 20, you get just over half of your money."

"It basically means for most women, you have to say, 'I'm willing to give up a year's worth of income and potentially my status for the next year to have a baby ... and that's a hard decision for a lot of girls to make, and I just don't think you should have to make that decision" she said.
 
In what Lewis calls a groundbreaking move, her biggest sponsor delivered surprising news. KPMG called her and told her they'd honor her contract and pay her out through maternity leave.

"I was speechless. I mean I think I almost started crying," she said. "It's unbelievably huge. I mean it's – this has never happened."

Lewis said that changing the way contracts are written, "where it's basically a paid maternity leave," would "potentially change the sport."

"You might get more girls and women wanting to play and continuing to play professionally if they know they can have a family and do this," she said.

Lewis said she wants little girls who come up to her asking for a signature to have the same opportunity she has -- or better.

"I want them to be playing for more money, be playing on network TV, have more coverage, be making the same amount of money as those guys," Lewis said. "I mean there's so many things that I want to change about the way our tour is right now that you know, you see these little girls and that's why you want to do it."

In a statement to CBS News, KPMG CEO Lynne Doughtie said, "As an advocate for women's leadership, both in business and in golf, KPMG will continue to pay Stacy for the remainder of the 2018 LPGA season, during the third trimester of her pregnancy...We are proud to support Stacy in starting her family."