By Alison ChinFollow @@AlisonChin9
On a windy final day at the Serapong course in Sentosa, Lewis emerged triumphant by just one shot to lift the 2013 HSBC Women's Champions trophy with a score of 15-under 273.
The American seized the lead during the second round, but Choi drew level at the top on the third day. Both ladies started the final round at 14 under par, while dark horse Paula Creamer was hot on their heels at -12.
Forced to contend with the heat and strong wind out on the course, Lewis knew all along that she was going to have to dig deep for the last 18 holes.
"We were kind of separated from the rest of the field, and with the wind up, it didn't really allow for a low number out there," she stated.
"So I knew it was going to be one of those days where you just had to kind of grind it out."
Nevertheless, the world number four started well enough. She birdied the second and moved ahead to -15 after Choi bogeyed her attempt.
There was also plenty to cheer about early on for fans of Creamer as she notched back-to-back birdies at holes 3 and 4 to pass Choi with a score of 14 under par. There was big smile on The Pink Panther's face after her feat, and she thoroughly deserved to bask in the applause after playing good approach shots on both holes.
Watching those around her score birdies over the first few holes prompted Choi to step up on her game. She capitalized on a Lewis bogey at the fifth with a birdie at the next hole, but the 28-year American came up with a piece of magic on the seventh to stop world number two Choi from taking the lead.
Hitting a hybrid which landed on the green's apron and bounced gently toward the pin, Lewis set herself up nicely for a tap in, which she duly finished to score an Eagle. Choi's eventual birdie could only bring her one shot behind at -15.
However, the magic ran out abruptly for the 2012 LPGA Player of the Year and her competitors in the back nine. Drives headed for the green ended up in bunkers while putts skirted holes stubbornly and refused to drop in. Choi would end up bogeying again on the 13th, while Creamer and Lewis were guilty of doing the same at the 15th.
By the time the trio teed up at the final hole, Lewis had picked up another bogey at the 17th, which allowed Choi to close in on her with a score of 14 under par.
"I hit it close a lot on the back nine. Just couldn't get any putts to fall. And the last four or five holes, I was pretty nervous, I'm not going to lie. That golf course is hard and it can jump up and get you at any second. And to have to play with two great players on your tail all day and they played unbelievable," Lewis pointed out.
"I wanted to hit good shots and did not really get anything out of it, and just really felt fortunate that nobody else was making putts too. Na Yeon [Choi] had plenty of chances, Paula [Creamer] had a bunch of putts on the edge, and it just seemed that nobody could get the putts to go in. I'm sure it was frustrating for the fans to watch that."
A considerable portion of the viewing gallery voiced their support for Choi, urging her to force Lewis into a play-off as both ladies began the par five 18th. Nonetheless, the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship winner emphatically silenced them when she caught the edge of the green with just two strokes.
Lewis needed at least three to do the same in earlier rounds, but decided to go for the driver after her caddie Travis Wilson advised her to capitalize on the wind condition.
"All week, I had played to get on the green in three but, with the wind the way it was, my caddie and I both said 'Driver!' at the same time," Lewis shared.
"You know, for him, he's the same person whether we tee off on 1 or whether we are walking off on 18, and that's the best thing you could ask for in a caddie. Things are kind of going sideways, but his reaction, you would never have known that it was."
After that stroke of brilliance, the Ohio-born golfer should have closed the door on any talk of a Choi fight-back. However, Lewis' failure to sink her Eagle attempt forced her supporters to contend with a nail-biting finish.
Her Korean opponent simply needed to birdie her putt to force a play-off, but it proved to be Lewis' day as Choi also faltered under the pressure. The American then stepped up to tap in her last putt of the competition, enjoying enthusiastic applause as she lifted her arms in jubilation.
Despite narrowly missing out on a play-off chance, Choi told FOX SPORTS that the closely fought finale made up for finishing empty-handed.
"I wasn't nervous. I missed that feeling, I was very excited to play in this kind of position," she revealed.
"I did my best. There are many tournaments to come, hopefully I'll have a great result in the next tournament."
The one-two finish for Lewis and Choi sees them inch closer to the top of the Rolex rankings, with Yani Tseng standing in their way. Both have the number one spot firmly in their sights and intend to build on their 2013 HSBC Women's Champions performance over the coming year.
"The field this week is one of the best statistically that we have all year, so I know that helps a lot with the rankings. Ultimately I would like to get to No. 1, and a win is a good way to get there. Just got to keep chipping away at it, and hopefully in a few weeks, we're there," Lewis said to journalists at her post-tournament conference.
"I think this is more fun than like only one player playing well, because there is not really a clear-cut No. 1 right now. I think everybody is good competitors with each other and motivates each other, and if someone wins, and I feel like, 'Oh, I need to win next week.', so I feel very excited," Choi added.
The world's leading female golfers will travel to Carlsbad, California at the end of the month to contend the next stop of the LPGA Tour, the Kia Classic.