|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
KPMG WOMEN'S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA DAY
May 16, 2017
Olympia Fields, Illinois
JULIUS MASON: Good morning, everyone. I'm The PGA of America's Julius Mason, and I would like to thank you very much for joining us as we celebrate next month's major championship, the KPMG Women's PGA championship.
We have a lot to cover in one hour, so let's go ahead and cut to the chase. Joining me on stage, from New York, the U.S. chairman and CEO of KPMG, Lynne Doughtie. From Indian Wells, California, the president of The PGA of America, Mr. Paul Levy. And from Daytona Beach, Florida, the Commissioner of the LPGA, Mike Whan.
Paul, let's go ahead and begin with you. In an unprecedented move three years ago, The PGA of America joined forces with the LPGA and KPMG to elevate this major championship. It's been a pretty good run so far, hasn't it?
PAUL LEVY: Yeah, it really has. You look back, this is our third championship coming up. And when Pete Bevacqua, our CEO came to the offices and said we'd like to partner with the LPGA and Mike, and had the opportunity to find a third partner in KPMG; just a perfect partner to not just promote the women's game, but the women's championship, but take it to a level of really promoting women in the game of golf and in business.
For us, it fits very much our mission of growing the game of golf, and also the excitement we see in junior golf. Junior golf in America the last five years has grown over half a million and the largest part of growth in that segment is young girls.
So we're really excited about this championship and to partner with both Mike and Lynne and their organizations is really exciting.
JULIUS MASON: Part of the strategy was to take this major championship to iconic, world-class golf facilities around the country. Where we are today certainly qualifies under those guidelines.
PAUL LEVY: Yeah, I think so. All you've got to do is walk to the golf shop, Brian Morrison is also the director of golf here and is going to be helping coordinate this championship. If you look at the names in his pro shop of past champions of U.S. Opens, PGA Championships, Western Open, U.S. Amateurs, it's an iconic golf course designed by Willie Park. Past champions include Walter Hagen, Jack Nicklaus.
This is a great venue and fits very much with us wanting to bring this championship to the greatest golf courses in America.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you, Paul. Len, why did KPMG get involved as a title sponsor in 2015?
LYNNE DOUGHTIE: As we've said, this is way more than just golf. And that's why we got involved. We're very passionate at KPMG about developing, advancing and empowering women. It's something that's important to us, and bringing that message to this platform is just huge.
And so we have not only a Major Championship at a course like this, but we're also able to combine it with the KPMG women's leadership summit, which will be on site here, the week of the championship, and then the third aspect is 100 percent of the proceeds of the championship, as well as the Women's Leadership Summit goes to the KPMG Future Leaders Program, which is identifying young girls in high school going on to college, helping them get their start, get their confidence; their ability to be inspired about -- and some of these girls are from tough backgrounds, as well, where they can use all of this to help change their life.
And so we're changing the lives of the women at the summit, and we're changing the lives of the future leaders. And I hope we're changing the lives of the women on the Tour where they are part of something really special with this event.
JULIUS MASON: You talk about the summit, and I think a lot of people are unfamiliar with it but let's show them what it's all about real quick.
JULIUS MASON: Time and time again, we have heard people say thhat this summit is arguably the most unique and inspiring summits they have ever seen in sports. Why is that?
LYNNE DOUGHTIE: Well, you got a glimpse of it just then. We were saying, it still gives us goosebumps to think about some of the inspiring mentals from that.
What we ask CEOs in their organization, to identify two women who are just steps away from the C-Suite. They become part of this summit, and they are inspired by what's going on around them with golf, but it's also a year long programming.
And this year, they are going to have another great lineup of incredible speakers but the other really cool thing, I mention the Future Leaders Program. Many of these women who are coming for their own development at this summit, are then inspiring and mentoring those girls from high school and helping them with their first year of college, and we are providing scholarships to them.
It really kind of goes around, because it starts, as you were saying, we need to instill confidence in them early, and so we are able to do that from these high school girls on up to women who will be the next CEOs in their organization.
JULIUS MASON: Care to give us a snapshot on what we might see at this year's summit?
LYNNE DOUGHTIE: I'm pleased to announce Dr. Condoleezza Rice will continue to join us and speak this year, as well, and speak to women as part of the summit and we have as a keynote, Ginni Rometty, chairman and CEO of IBM, who will receive the Inspired Greatness Award and also share her wisdom with these women. We have a host of other women from the likes of Microsoft and J & J.
And as you can see we have another Olympian panel. We had one last year and we continue to have one this year with Michelle Kwan, and Angela and Lindsay. It's really cool to have the Olympians there talking to women in business, as well as the players and the things that they have had to overcome, to be an Olympian and what that means. There's application for all of us to learn and be inspired by that.
JULIUS MASON: Thanks very much for that insight.
Chicagoland, you are in for a treat when you actually see this summit taking place.
Mike, tell us a little bit about the history and tradition of this major championship formerly known as the LPGA Championship, which dates back to 1955 with some Hall of Fame past champions.
MIKE WHAN: When you're talking about this major, you're talking about 1955 to today. When we first got together and started talking about this idea, we knew we had to understand, respect and embrace the past while we elevated this to a new level, because you know, when you look on the trophy up there, you're going to see names like Whitworth and Rawls and Lopez and Sorenstam and the names just go on and on. It's a whose who of women's golf.
I've said this many times, but I have a hard time calling this a major championship. And the reason is, because I think when you put "Championship" on this, it actually underplays what KPMG has brought to this, because this is really major in so many more ways than just a championship. Lynne has talked about it and so has Paul: I mean, this is -- this is major in terms of what goes on on the golf course. It's major in terms of NBC and Golf Channel coverage. It's major in terms of the size, purse, Rolex Ranking points and all the things that will change the lives of female athletes that are among the best 156 in the world. But it's major in terms of women pursuing their career in business. It's major in terms of young women getting the opportunity to go to college.
And so yes, it's a major championship, but I just always call this the major because it's major in so many other ways, and I think when we first talked about doing this, when we got together with The PGA of America, we were talking about a major championship. When we met Sue -- when we met Lynne and John, they turned it into a major event, and I think that's really been pretty special. That's why we're so proud of this thing because our vision wasn't as good as theirs, and when you really are on to something is when somebody takes your idea and takes it to the next level.
So I hope that both players that have won this tournament from 1955 to today realize that what we have done is taken it up a notch, I've said this many times, if you meet the founders of the LPGA, at least when they are talking to me, and I'm pretty sure when they are talking to the Stacys' and Brooks' of the world, they generally ask us to do one thing, and that's leave the game better for the next generation of women.
I think because of Paul and Lynne and their organizations, this major is going to be better for the next generation of women than it was before we met them, and that makes us proud.
JULIUS MASON: That's great. Every year the LPGA continues to push the envelope and excel in so many areas.
Talk about the global nature of your tour now, and what we can expect as far as talent with this championship.
MIKE WHAN: Well, first off, I'm a Chicagoan. I was born in Chicago Heights and so I was raised in Naperville. So if you don't come out here, I'm going to find you in June. This is my hometown and you can take a train here and 30 steps later be on the first tee; a pretty cool Chicago experience I'm looking forward to doing.
If you're not sure what to expect for the LPGA, think Olympics. We have two Olympic athletes here today that you'll hear from, two Olympians from Rio. We're going to have the best female golfers from all over the world that have taken their whole lives to make it to this level, and really what they want is they want to play in a forum where the best are going to play each other week-in and week-out.
And they have all got individual stories, whether you grew up in South America, North America, Asia, Europe, to get here is an unbelievable venture. Last year we had 41 different countries playing in Q-School trying to make it to the LPGA. What's happening in women's golf right now is unbelievably exciting because it's borderless. Doesn't matter where you grew up. You can have this dream. There's probably already somebody who has shown you can make it here. But if you come out here and watch the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, you're going to see the best female athletes from all over the world. You're going to see some incredible youth. You're going to see players that can't rent a car yet but can win this tournament. You're going to see players that have actually won this tournament before and are still playing. You're going to see players from countries all over the globe. You'll see flags from all over the world.
I know when I first got to the LPGA, I took pictures and Googled a couple flags to make sure I knew what they were and where they were from. It's an Olympic experience every week. When I was at Rio this year, and my press conference, some reporter who obviously does not cover the LPGA, said, how cool is it to have players from 30 different countries teeing it up this week. And I said, it feels a lot like it did last week and a lot like it will next week. Because that's what we do at the LPGA. We create an Olympic experience every week.
And what I would tell you as Chicagoans is, like the Olympics, it's going to be an incredible hometown event but 170 countries are going to eavesdrop. This is going to be cool for this place and this area, but what's really cool is the rest of the world is really going to be paying attention, and I think as a Chicagoan, it's going to make me pretty proud and it should make you proud, as well.
JULIUS MASON: A round of applause for Lynne, Paul and Mike.
Now ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, defending champion, Brooke Henderson, and two-time LPGA Player of the Year and KPMG Ambassador, Stacy Lewis.
Welcome to the Windy City, ladies. Thank you for joining us today. Brooke, for those in the room that can't remember what happened last June, let's show them what happened last June.
Let's start from the beginning. How were you playing coming into Sahalee at that time.
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, at the beginning of last year, was my first full year on the LPGA Tour, and I had nine straight Top-10 finishes.
So you know, my game was in a really good place and my World Ranking was going down. I started the year at 18 and going into the week, I was No. 4 in the world. So a lot of really incredible things were happening for me. And Sahalee, as soon as I got there, I had a great feeling.
JULIUS MASON: Had you played Sahalee before? This is a new course for you?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, new course. I just heard amazing things about it. So I was really looking forward to having the chance to play, and I prefer, you know, Northwestern, north Pacific golf courses. I've won three LPGA Tour events and all three are in that part of the world.
On Thursday, I had a hole-in-one on my fourth hole. Won a car, gave it to my sister. SO she was happy; I was happy. And then I shot 4-under the first round. The next few days, the playing conditions were very difficult. I shot 2-over on Friday, 2-over on Saturday; even par on a major championship on an extremely tough golf course. I was happy and I was, you know, three shots back but I never felt like I was completely out of it.
And you know, I woke up on Sunday morning, and it was kind of those feelings that was really hard to explain, but I knew that I had a chance and I feel like I could play really well. I was 2-under through my first six holes, made a couple up-and-down saves, and then that long eagle putt on No. 11, which you saw there, which was just a huge momentum change and I jumped up the leaderboard then. And made another birdie on 13, a couple more sand saves coming in, birdie on 17.
And then to make my par save on 18 when I got into a little bit of trouble was really good, you know, confidence-wise because I was hoping to force a playoff with Lydia, and then, you know, that playoff, I was nervous. I kind of just went into the locker room, had a little chat with myself and realize that people dream of this opportunity to have -- to be able to hoist this trophy, to win a major championship, to win any tournament on the LPGA is amazing, and to win a major championship is even better.
I knew she was the No. 1 player in the world. I knew if I was going to win it, I had to win it on the first hole, otherwise my chances would get lower. And so I was able to go out and hit three great shots, make birdie, and you know, become a major championship winner. That really defines anybody's career.
JULIUS MASON: At what point during the week, did you tell yourself, "I can win this thing"? It wasn't until Sunday, was it?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Like I said, fourth hole, hole-in-one, I'm leading by two shots after the first round, I thought this week could be something special.
JULIUS MASON: You appear to be very calm, controlled, with your emotions. As young as you are, in this major championship, inside, what were you feeling?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know what, I was very calm for the majority. Definitely coming down the stretch, I had jitters and like I said, it was kind of -- I knew this was such a special opportunity, and I didn't want to throw it away and I kind of wanted to remember how important it was to me; and the crowds grew and people started chanting my name and Canada; and the TVs, the cameras really started to come on me. I was just trying to embrace the moment as best I could.
JULIUS MASON: Canada, you're sort of a big deal in Canada, right? Right?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Sorta. (Laughs).
JULIUS MASON: Your win last year was a top story in the country, the country. You received a standing ovation last December at an Ottawa Senators' game. By the way, congratulations on the Senators moving on to the Conference Finals. Are you going to try to make it to a game?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Hopefully.
JULIUS MASON: Are you a big Senators fan?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Big Senators fan.
JULIUS MASON: If you're a big Senators fan, you could name three Senators on the team -- am I going to put you on the spot?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You can do that.
JULIUS MASON: Go: Three.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Erik Karlsson, Craig Anderson, Cody Ceci.
JULIUS MASON: I don't know if that's right or wrong -- that's a good point. Extra credit, go for four.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Bobby Ryan.
JULIUS MASON: Very good. So after this, the prime minister of Canada, the prime minister of Canada, Tweeted about your victory, literally as soon as you won. So he's watching you at this major championship. Did you realize that happened, or when did you realize that happened?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, you know, the whole country of Canada has always been a huge support for me, and after winning my major championship here in Sahalee last year, Prime Minister, amazing, and congratulations, the support was overwhelming, really. Thinking about it, I have jitters right now.
I think the best part of playing on the LPGA Tour you is get to show the rest of the world how you can play and who you are as a person. I started to grow fans all over the world in the US, and we play a lot of tournaments in Asia and Europe, and my fan base is continuing to grow, which I think is really exciting.
JULIUS MASON: And we're all friends here. What's the coolest thing about winning a major championship.
BROOKE HENDERSON: That's a funny picture -- I couldn't believe it, I guess. (Laughter) I don't know, you just look at the names on the trophy and to be a part of history, I think is, you know, probably the best thing about winning a major championship and just the confidence that it gives me. Every time on the tee, I hear, "Major Champion," and that settles my nerves a little bit and I know I can do things.
JULIUS MASON: How tall are you?
BROOKE HENDERSON: 5-4.
JULIUS MASON: No one else on Tour seems to crush the ball like you do when you're playing. In fact, did you know that your swing and the power you generate gets compared to John Daly? Did you know this?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, you know, I --
STACY LEWIS: Let's leave it at that.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, a very unique swing. I was three years old when I started playing, and my dad is my coach and he never touched my swing.
So I pretty much have always had the exact same, and I hear a lot of comments about it, some good, some bad, but it works for me. I think that's really cool, because you can look at any player on the LPGA Tour and every player has a different swing, different body type and I think it's just, you've got to find what works for you and John and I, we seem to have the same technique.
JULIUS MASON: So let's dissect your swing a little more.
JULIUS MASON: So your dad is your coach. In his opinion, what is the strongest part of your game, and what does he want to work with you more on?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, so I'm very much a feel player. You know, I don't worry about technique, as you can see too much. So he's always talking to me about strategy, most of the time, about new courses that I'm going to, and also being able to shape shots. He thinks that's extremely important, so you know, being able to work the ball right-to-left, left-to-right, and low shots, high shots, and yeah, just the factors, always taking in the wind, the lie, the type of grass, the direction the grass is laying, all of those things.
And, as well, you know, my strength of my game is long game, so my driver and my irons and my short game is something that I've been working very diligently on for probably the last four years, and I think if I can clean that up a little bit, I can hopefully hoist this again this year.
JULIUS MASON: Beautiful. Thank you, 19-year-old Brooke Henderson. (Laughter).
Hello, 32-year-old Stacy Lewis. So do you feel like a grandma up here next to a teenager, a little bit?
STACY LEWIS: I feel pretty old whenever they say the age of all these kids, but it's all good.
JULIUS MASON: Well the neat thing about your maturity is that you have a pretty stellar resumÃ©. Let's quickly take a look at your career highlights, if you don't mind.
JULIUS MASON: Stacy, you've won over ten times on the LPGA. You've won two major championships, but the one thing that really catches me when we watch this video, is you can say something that a lot of people have never done before on this planet: You won at the Home of Golf at St. Andrews. Can you talk a little about that victory and maybe your emotions this week?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, that was, I mean, I don't know how -- winning this one would be great, but I don't know how you ever top that. It was, you know, I had a good -- I had a good feeling coming into the week because I played Curtis Cup there, went undefeated. I love the golf course. I played it 11 times the seven days we were there for Curtis Cup. I had a lot of experience on the golf course, so I had a good feeling about it. On Saturday, we never played any golf on Saturday because of the wind. And so we played 36 holes on Sunday, and I just kept trying to, we started at, whatever, 6:00 AM over there. We just kept going all day.
Obviously I mean, what I remember most was coming down the stretch. I knew I had a chance. I knew it was playing hard. Just had to keep hanging in there. The shot I hit, the 5-iron on 17, was just, I mean, it's one of those shots that you just, you never forget. I saved the 5-iron from that set. You could probably go drop ten balls and not hit it again. I mean, that's how hard of a shot it was. But as soon as I made that putt, I remember telling myself, you could see it: I said one more, I have to make one more birdie.
The putt I had on 18, actually I had the same putt in the Curtis Cup, but I left it short. So I knew the line but I knew it played more uphill than what you think, and so I knew I just had to get it to the hole. I had the line, and ended up making the putt.
So it was an unbelievable week for me. We stayed at the Dunvegan which is right off the 18th green, so I walked to the golf course every day. Just one of those weeks you never forget.
JULIUS MASON: What's your state of the game, right now, today? How are you playing?
STACY LEWIS: I'm playing good actually. It's kind of been a roller coaster the last year or so. Had a lot going on. The game's actually getting into a really good spot. I'm excited for this summer, because I'm playing a lot and going to be pretty busy.
Just really just need to get back to just playing the game, and so I think so much golf swing, you kind of get technical at times. Just need to start playing again. But I really feel good about where things are right now.
JULIUS MASON: As it relates to this major championship, we know you're a huge proponent of playing these old, historical, traditional golf courses, like Olympia Fields, Kemper Lakes next year. What is it about these types of golf courses that puts a smile on your face?
STACY LEWIS: I mean, you just drive in the parking lot and you can see the difference. You see the big clubhouses, the big golf courses and what's going to be long rough -- it's not quite long yet but what's going to be long rough.
Just having the history here of the men playing here, but more specifically is kind of what we were looking for and just the fact that the women have never played here. It's a big deal for us to be here and that was kind of one of the stipulations I gave KPMG is we need to be on golf courses we historically have not played in the past.
That's what you guys, the PGA, has helped us do. Sahalee last year was unreal. It was, I mean, it was probably one of the hardest setups we had all year and it truly tested all your game. I'm sure we'll get that again this year.
JULIUS MASON: You more than anyone really have unique insight into this major championship and what this championship is really all about. What separates this championship from the other majors? Is it the venue? Is it more than the venue?
STACY LEWIS: I think a lot of it is the venue. I think the fact that we move it around to different places and get to expose different communities to the women's game -- because our game is a little bit different than the guys, where it's not just seen on TV. Once we get people to come to our tournaments, we seem to have fans for life. So the more cities we can hit a cross the country, I think we can grow our fan base and get more people watching us.
But then you look at what KPMG does with the summit, and getting all the different companies that can be involved this week and growing women and leadership, and there's so many aspects to this tournament, other than just golf. I think that's really what separates it.
JULIUS MASON: So Joe Hallett is your PGA professional and instructor, one of the best on the planet. Can you give us a little insight as to what you're working on currently with him?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, a lot of it, we've actually been working on for a long time but at the top of my backswing, just getting the elbow down and always working on the golf swing, always working on putting. I mean, we worked a lot on wedges to start the year, because I feel that's somewhere that you can make up a lot of shots, and when your wedges are good, it makes your life a lot easier.
So we're always working on stuff. You know, Joe is always sending me text and video and all that kind of stuff.
JULIUS MASON: The commercial was almost pretty accurate.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, the commercial is pretty accurate. I called him one time. I'm like, "Oh, where are you?"
He's like, "Oh, I'm at baggage claim in Las Vegas." And he had some guy hold his phone and he recorded a video for me from baggage claim. So the commercial is very accurate, actually.
JULIUS MASON: Got to love those PGA professionals.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah.
JULIUS MASON: Stacy and Brooke, you both have something in common: You're both patriotic and competed in the Olympic Games. Stacy, you just missed a medal tying for fourth. Brooke played well and tied for seventh, right.
Stacy, were the Olympics everything you expected to be or did it blow your mind even more than it thought?
STACY LEWIS: It was beyond what I thought it would be. There were so many uncertainties going into the week that you didn't really know what to expect going there. It was one of the coolest things I've ever been a part of.
I think I slept about five hours every night just because we -- as soon as we got done playing golf, we went back and headed off to go watch other events and they didn't finish until 11 o'clock or midnight. I tried to do as much as I could, just to take in the experience and be a part of it, and we stayed for closing ceremonies and walked with all the athletes.
So it was unreal just to be around the other athletes and to think that a lot of those athletes, that's it for them. They don't get four or five major championships a year. That's it. Once every four years. So it really kind of puts it in perspective, what you get to do.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I think it's amazing how it brings every country together and how it brings the whole world together. You know, walking amongst the other amazing athletes, we walked by Simone Biles and we didn't get to see --
JULIUS MASON: Is Simone taller than you?
BROOKE HENDERSON: No. (Laughter) That was like the only person I was taller than. But just having that kind of interaction with these amazing, amazing athletes was extremely cool. Growing up, I dreamed of playing in the Olympics but I had no idea how I was going to get there.
So it kind of just, you know, fell into my hands kind of. I worked really hard to become the No. 1 golfer in Canada, and when the Games came back to golf, is that was a big goal of mine to make sure I was there in Rio. To be a part of it was amazing and I'm really looking forward to doing it again in I guess three years from now.
JULIUS MASON: Stacy, do you travel to Canada a lot? Do you know a lot about the country?
STACY LEWIS: I go about once or twice a year. I know it a little bit.
JULIUS MASON: Brooke, do you know a lot about American history or American pop culture, by any chance?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Not a ton but I spend a lot of time here.
JULIUS MASON: Well, Mike Whan drives down our throats, and anyone else who will listen to him, that as LPGA ambassadors, you need to understand the countries that you're visiting and know the competitors you're going to be competing against.
So we would like to give you a little test if you don't mind to see what you know about the countries that you're representing right here today if you don't mind.
No help from the audience, please. We will let you know if they need a lifeline for this.
Stacy, you first. The first question is: Which one of these images is the Canadian flag? A, B, C or D.
STACY LEWIS: Wow. We're going to go D.
JULIUS MASON: And the answer is, D, correct. Who is keeping score back there? Somebody keeping score?
Second question, Brooke: Which one of these is a United States of America flag, A, B, C or D.
BROOKE HENDERSON: B.
JULIUS MASON: Can you fill in the blanks to the beginning of the Canadian National Anthem?
STACY LEWIS: I know there's a lot of Oh, Canadas. Actually I was at a -- I was at a Houston Dynamo soccer game last week, and Vancouver played and they did this. I think, is it Native Land?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yes.
JULIUS MASON: Very good. Very good. Next question. Brooke, can you fill in the blanks to the National Anthem.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Oh, no, sorry. I do know some parts but I don't know that.
JULIUS MASON: All right. Does that sound familiar -- dawn's early light?
STACY LEWIS: That was the hard part of it.
BROOKE HENDERSON: I was hoping it would be the part I knew (laughter).
JULIUS MASON: Stacy, can you name more than two provinces or territories in Canada?
STACY LEWIS: Ontario. Is that one?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah.
STACY LEWIS: Okay. Gosh, I probably know the cities more than I know the territories. I don't know honestly.
JULIUS MASON: Let's see if you're halfway right.
STACY LEWIS: There you go. I had a lot to choose from.
JULIUS MASON: Extra credit since you didn't get that fully right. Look at my eyes right now and spell Saskatchewan.
STACY LEWIS: Can you do that? (Laughter).
JULIUS MASON: Next question. Brooke: How many states make up the United States of America?
BROOKE HENDERSON: These are hard questions. (Laughter) I want to say 49 or 50.
JULIUS MASON: All right, ding, ding, dang, and the answer is 50. You win at 50. Very good.
Next question, Stacy, they get starter now: What is Canada's national animal?
STACY LEWIS: It's the beaver, actually.
JULIUS MASON: And the answer is --
STACY LEWIS: You would think it would be the moose. July 75 percent of the people at PGA headquarters thought it was the moose.
STACY LEWIS: But it's the beaver.
JULIUS MASON: Next question, Brooke. What is America's national animal?
STACY LEWIS: That's a hard one (laughter). Please pick the giraffe.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Eagle.
JULIUS MASON: Very good, the answer is, the bald eagle.
Next questions, Stacy: Which one of these celebrities is not Canadian?
STACY LEWIS: That would be Bill Murray.
JULIUS MASON: And the answer is, very good. Very good.
Brooke, which one of these celebrities is not American?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Jake.
JULIUS MASON: That was fast. That was really, really fast.
Okay. Clearly, we're all up here to learn more about you, as much as we possibly can, and the best way to learn about you is by dissecting your Twitter accounts. By all intents and purposes, it looks like you have well over 50,000 followers, right. So let's go ahead and see -- let's start with Stacy first.
So, okay, you're politically correct because you follow Mike Whan the Commissioner, we see that, right. Who is Patrick Davis and Will Hogue?
STACY LEWIS: They are singer songwriters like Texas country music. They are both guys that I met and pretty talented.
JULIUS MASON: Now the perplexing thing is, where did you go to school?
STACY LEWIS: Arkansas.
JULIUS MASON: You went to Arkansas. But I see clearly you're following Alabama quarterback, AJ McCarron. Give us some history there, what's going on?
STACY LEWIS: So we're playing in mobile a few years ago and we went to the Minor League's baseball game, actually threw out a first pitch there. He was there with his brother and girlfriend, or girlfriend at the time, and we just kind of chatted and hung out during the game. And so started following him on Twitter.
JULIUS MASON: You don't get any heat from your Arkansas fans?
STACY LEWIS: It's all good.
JULIUS MASON: Brooke, you're next.
Do you have to follow -- is everybody that plays the LPGA have to follow Mike Whan? (Laughter).
Brooke, like I said, you're 19, but you're following 92-year-old Betty White? Explain that.
BROOKE HENDERSON: I actually love the show Golden Girls. So I think that Betty White is extremely funny.
JULIUS MASON: Golden Girls. That's an old show, right?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's an old show and it's about four old women (laughter).
JULIUS MASON: Maybe Canada gets our shows a lot later than we actually wind up putting them on is maybe what's happening here, I don't know.
Are you an ultimate fighting fan? Rhonda Rousey?
BROOKE HENDERSON: You know, I think she's really cool. I don't watch a lot of fighting, but I think she's like really tough and sometimes she comes up with some good Tweets.
JULIUS MASON: Who is going to win the Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor or fight if it happens?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Oh, I have no idea.
JULIUS MASON: Just checking. Just checking.
Before we go to Q&A, I think it's important that we leave the audience for maybe a good swing thought before they play in the media golf outing this afternoon, or if not this afternoon, later on down the road.
Brooke, what's one swing thought that you have when you play golf before you hit a golf ball.
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think the most important thing -- like I said, I'm not very technical. So the thing that I think about last and I think maybe the most important thing is just like having your target kind of memorized in your mind. So either it's the flag or it's the tree behind or it's a spectator. Just always going through your target and the number that you want to hit, and that's kind of what I repeat to myself right before I hit the shot.
JULIUS MASON: Really cool.
STACY LEWIS: I would tell people that less is more. We often -- we do it, too. We try too hard and overswing shots and try to hit it too hard. Usually the shorter and smoother your swing is, the better off you are. So less is more.
JULIUS MASON: What are you doing later on tonight? I hear you have quite the evening lined up.
STACY LEWIS: Yes, I have a first pitch tonight with the World Series Champions, Chicago Cubs.
JULIUS MASON: Very good. You know how I knew that? I was having breakfast this morning with Mike Whan and he just had sweat beads coming down his face. He went to the bathroom a couple of times to excuse himself. He had some problems going on, I said, "Mike, what's the deal? Are you okay?"
He goes, "Julius, I've got one of my biggest stars on the LPGA throwing out the first pitch in front of 40,000 people and I just don't want her to embarrass our tour."
I said, "Don't worry, you know what, we're going to help you out, Mike. We're going to show Stacy what she shouldn't do tonight."
All right. So the really cool thing now is that we are not going to let you go to the stadium tonight without practicing. And we're going to have you practice right now, if you don't mind.
So please step down the stairs over there and get in position. We're going to have somebody give you the ball, and ladies and gentlemen, please welcome from Chicagoland, the catcher from Daytona Beach, Commissioner Mike Whan.
So, Stacy, the mound is over here (pitching demonstration).
MIKE WHAN: The LPGA is a pretty good judge of talent. (Laughter).
JULIUS MASON: Ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of the program where we can ask questions.
Q. So many people say when someone wins a major or something very big for the first time it changes their life. Here you are at 18, 19; not much life to experience yet. Has it changed your life the last 12 months?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Definitely there's a lot more demands. I learned a lot about time management last year: Media, fans, sponsors, making sure you make time for yourself, for practice and for rest. It really made me mature a lot and take a lot of responsibility, which is a really good thing.
You know, I think winning a major championship, you know, is just one goal in my long list of high goals, and you know, hopefully I can go and defend this year and add a couple more check marks to my list.
Q. Past president of the Illinois PGA, and I just wanted to say, welcome. We look forward to having you for the next couple years and best of luck to both of you.
BROOKE HENDERSON: Thank you.
STACY LEWIS: Thank you.
JULIUS MASON: Chicagoland media, you hate these eight o'clock in the morning news conferences, don't you. Questions once? Questions twice? One more hand, ladies and gentlemen, for Brooke and Stacy.
Please welcome from the southwest side of Chicago, championship director, Matt Larson, please.
MATT LARSON: Thank you very much, Julius. As we've discussed today, the KPMG Women's PGA championship is much more than a major. So I have a few notes with me today to try and tell you a little bit more about the championship, championship week and some information about today, as well.
Championship week will begin on Tuesday, June 27th with two Pro-Ams that will feature some of the best players in the world, as well as a few great celebrities.
As highlighted earlier, the KPMG Women's Leadership Summit will be the focus on Wednesday, June 28, along with the practice round.
Championship stroke-play begins on Thursday, June 29 with 156 of the top players from around the globe taking on the challenge of Olympia Fields Country Club.
Family Day, which features a demonstration and a clinic put on by a few LPGA Tour starts, will highlight our day on Friday, June 30th.
Following the cut after the second round, play on Saturday, July 1, will feature the low 70 scorers and ties as contenders battle for position going into the final round.
A tremendous champion will reap many rewards. Among them the opportunity to hoist this beautiful trophy right here at the conclusion of the championship on Sunday, July 2.
The first and second rounds will be highlighted on Golf Channel with the final two rounds for those hoping to attend the championship in person, tickets are still available at KPMGWomensPGA.com. We have practice round tickets that start at $15, while the final two round can be seen in person for $30. We have $100 weekly ticket package which is available, as well as $150 exclusive space called the 1950 Club. So some great ticket options.
Once you purchase your tickets and would like to attend, we have to figure out how to get you here to Olympia Fields. Fortunately we have some tremendous options for you. We had a unique experience in the fact that the Metro Electric District Line comes here to the main entrance at Olympia Fields Country Club.
So it provides easy access for everybody to attend and we have complimentary parking and that will be located at 1020 Dixie Highway in Chicago Heights, complimentary shuttle will begin at 6:30 AM each morning and will take everybody to the club.
Media interested in attending the championship can apply for credentials at PGA.org/credentials. The application process opened on April 26 and will remain open until June 12. If you have any questions from a media side, please find one of our team members and we're happy to help.
The PGA of America, along with our great partners KPMG and LPGA, are thrilled to be bringing major championship golf back to Chicago. With the support of over 1,200 volunteers, Olympia Fields Country Club and many different supporters from across Chicagoland, the KPMG Women's PGA championship is going to be more than major and we certainly hope that you can be a part of it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports