LPGA star Stacy Lewis said Wednesday that sponsor KPMG will pay the full value of her contract when she goes on maternity leave.
According to CNN.com's Jill Martin, Lewis said the following about KPMG's decision:
"I think a lot of people were shocked to learn that that had never happened before. Players that were, that are moms and have kids, they thought it was the greatest thing ever, just because they had been in my position before and they know what that feels like. They just thought it was—I mean, they thought it was unbelievable."
Lewis is due in November, and this week's KPMG Women's PGA Championship will be one of her final tournaments before she begins her leave.
Lewis expressed hope that her situation will become the norm rather than an exception to the rule moving forward:
"I definitely hope with what KPMG decided to do, I hope it changes the way contracts are written, that that is already included in there, where it doesn't have to come from a CEO or whoever is making all the decisions. Just for women in general, because I think there's a lot of women on this tour that you basically have to say, I'm willing to give up all of my income this year to have a baby, and that's a hard decision to make for a lot of people.
"I'm fortunate that I'm not in that position, but there's a lot of girls that—if they don't have income and they don't have their status next year, that's a big deal. I hope it changes things. I hope it changes the way contracts are written more than anything."
The 33-year-old Lewis is among the top players on the LPGA Tour, with 12 career wins to her credit.
That includes two majors: the 2011 ANA Inspiration and 2013 Women's British Open.
The news comes when the topic of mothers in professional sports has been much-discussed.
Despite being arguably the greatest female tennis player in the world, Serena Williams currently holds a ranking of No. 183 due to missing time during her pregnancy.
Although Williams was unseeded at the French Open, the All England Club took maternity leave into account and gave Serena the No. 25 seed for the upcoming Wimbledon. The U.S. Open also announced that it will do the same.