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ANA INSPIRATION MEDIA CONFERENCE
February 27, 2020
Rancho Mirage, California
THE MODERATOR: Both Brittany and Stacy have played this year; Stacy has played three events and Brittany has played two. Stacy, you went to Australia. Did you take Chesnee with you?
STACY LEWIS: No, she stayed home with dad, and it was good for both of them. Good break for me and good for dad to have to do it for a couple weeks.
Q. And Brittany, you played two tournaments in America and that was your first two back. How did that go for you?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It was great. Emery came to both of those, and it was definitely a little bit of an adjustment, but she came out and watched every day, and it was so great seeing her face when I was playing and it just made me light up and I felt like it made me play better, so it was awesome.
Q. You're not someone that strikes me that you seem relaxed on the course. Does it make you more relaxed or too relaxed?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I am pretty relaxed, but I definitely have like a fire. I want to win and be in competition and compete, but when you have those bad holes it's kind of hard to pull yourself out, and now having her, I think it'll only sort of get over those moments and think of the positives and move forward and make more birdies hopefully.
Q. Stacy, how did your husband -- if you were marking him out of 10 for how he looked after the baby, what would you give him, and what were his good points and what were his bad?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I'd say the only bad thing is that she wants to watch Mickey Mouse all the time now, but the good thing is that she was healthy -- she got an ear infection while I was gone, so he had to deal with all that, so all things considered, he did great.
Q. Was that the first time you've gone away, Stacy, from home?
STACY LEWIS: Last summer I went -- when I played Evian and British, I went over there by myself, and that was really hard. I think it definitely as they get older, it's a little bit easier to be away. They're not changing quite as quickly and you don't feel like you're going to miss as much. It was still hard being away, but it was definitely easier this time around.
Q. Can you both talk about the creche, what a difference that has made to mothers' lives on the Tour?
STACY LEWIS: Talk about what?
Q. The creche and the difference it's made to mothers on the Tour to have that facility.
STACY LEWIS: The daycare facility?
Q. Yes, sorry, daycare.
STACY LEWIS: Well, for me it's been huge. Chesnee went -- every tournament I played in in the U.S., Chesnee went last year, and they actually brought -- the daycare lady went to the Solheim Cup, so we were able to take her there, too. It just really allows me to do my job and to know that she's safe, and if anything does go wrong, they're going to come get me, but 99 percent of the time they're not going to. They can handle it. Bardine has been running the program for 20 plus years, so I feel like early on I was asking her for advice and what I should be doing, and it's just great to have Chesnee on the road and to be able to spend that time with her and not be gone for weeks at a time. It definitely just makes playing golf a lot easier.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I haven't used daycare yet, but I am definitely going to. I think it's great for Emery to be around other kids and get that social interaction, and even just talking to another mom, Gerina, she said when Gerina Piller brought A.J. out and she saw all the other kids eating and walking or crawling and doing things, A.J. wanted to do those things, so it helped him progress developmentally, so I think having her in there will be a huge help, but my parents are going to travel a lot, as well, so it'll be tough to get her away from my parents and get her in the daycare, but I'm definitely excited that we have it and I have that availability, knowing, like Stacy said, that she's going to be in a safe place and she's going to be with me and well taken care of.
Q. There's about eight new moms out on the Tour that have gone before you, Brittany. Are you asking a lot of people for advice, including Stacy?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Oh, absolutely. Stacy hasn't got as many calls get, but you just get ready, Stace. Yeah, talking to them about just what I need when I start traveling, which obviously the first two events were in Florida right in my backyard, which was super nice to kind of get a feel for what I really need and what I really don't need because obviously driving I packed way more than I needed. So now when I start traveling, Gerina gave me a few suggestions of little chairs that clip on the table for dinnertime or little bath things, little duck thing that she can sit in to take a bath on the road, just little silly things that are going to be very helpful with traveling.
Q. I'm curious for both of you with basically it's like a second off-season here with the coronavirus, kind of how you're preparing for the three-week swing on the West Coast and leading up to ANA, and maybe how you think that'll sort of impact ANA, not having these guaranteed-money events ahead of time and then obviously just in preparation. Quite a few players haven't played at all yet this year.
STACY LEWIS: I mean, for me, I'm kind of practicing and preparing the way I normally do. I mean, nothing really crazy different there. But I do think it's going to affect -- there's not as many rookies that are going to be able to get into ANA, and the playing opportunities for rookies I think are going to go down just based on just players that maybe don't play all three of those West Coasts are going to play to kind of help be ready for ANA.
It'll be interesting to see how it affects kind of the whole year as far as playing opportunities for people, but some people get off to fast starts, some people got off to slow starts, and I think it'll affect everybody differently, but just unfortunate that we have all this time off, kind of sitting around twirling your thumbs a little bit.
Q. Were your plans to always play three events or have you changed your schedule?
STACY LEWIS: I was planning on just playing two Australia and Thailand. That was my plan.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: For me, I was going to do Thailand, Singapore, and then at the beginning of the season when my husband and I looked at the schedule, he didn't want me to take Emery away for more than two weeks at a time, so originally this off-season when we planned and booked flights and everything and hotels, I said, I'm taking Carlsbad off, so I'm still taking Carlsbad off, unfortunately. Obviously now I wish I could play, but just changing things logistically, it's too much work, so now I'm only playing Phoenix and then going back for ANA, which obviously isn't ideal.
But I'm still preparing like you guys know I do, pretty much playing once or twice a week and hanging out and trying to fish when it's not too crappy of weather and hanging out with Emery.
Q. How do you both find your concentration on the course? Do you find yourselves -- do you keep thinking back to what the baby is doing, or do you just manage to forget babies for 18 holes and just get on with the work?
STACY LEWIS: I think for me, at first it was hard to kind of be where I was. I was always -- you spend those first few months with the baby and it's just you two, and you just have so much time together that I think it's hard to just shut it off right away and not really think about her, but I think as time goes on, you know you're kind of able to focus a little more where you are and just kind of enjoy that time, that quiet time inside the ropes and time that you get to work on your game and just really try to play the best you can. But I definitely -- it's evolved. Last year that was kind of one of the challenges for me was finding that balance.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: For me, since Emery was out, she came and watched at least nine holes of every round, so I really got to see her all day most days, so that wasn't too big of a deal for me, and then with my caddie, we talked about Emery and what she's doing, and we talked about her basically all day, so I felt like I was with her even though I wasn't, but I'm sure the first time she gets an ear infection or a tooth comes through or something and I'm not going to be there to take care of her because I'm playing golf, so that might be hard, but for the most part those first two I could focus on golf, and it wasn't too much of a distraction.
Q. And is your caddie as good on babies as he is on clubbing?
STACY LEWIS: Mine does okay. He's had a lot of practice with nieces and nephews, so he does good.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, kind of weird with mine. I have a female caddie, Missy, which you would think girls are just natural with babies, but I never thought Missy ever would take to a baby, and she frigging loves Emery. She wants to hold her all the time and feed her and do everything for her. It's been a really cool experience being my caddie, getting to know Emery and be so involved.
Q. I'm just curious for both of you how driven you are to win as a mom, especially at an event like ANA where you've won before.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: That would be very cool. I don't know if I could quite jump --
STACY LEWIS: I don't know about jumping in the pond. I don't think I'd take her in the pond.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: That's probably smart.
That would be pretty cool, though, to have somebody bring her out to the green after winning a golf tournament and having her there. That would be so cool.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, my husband's team last spring, they actually won a tournament. I think it was in February, so Chesnee was probably about four months old, and he was bragging that he got the first trophy picture with her, so I need to get on the board. But I think it would just be so cool to be able to do that with her and for her to have that down the road and to show her what I did and that she was a part of it. You know, that's the biggest thing. She's not going to remember any of this right now, but just down the road she knows that maybe what her mom did was pretty cool.
Q. Do you think it'll have greater meaning for you if you were to win another major? Do you think it would feel totally different?
STACY LEWIS: A hundred percent.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, absolutely.
Q. I was just wondering, when in your year do you start thinking of the ANA? Is it at the beginning of the season or do you start thinking about it in the off-season?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: 24/7 because I love that event. Obviously winning there twice, I have some pretty good memories. But just Palm Springs in general, I feel like if I ever were to move somewhere, I would probably move to Palm Springs just with the mountains and the snow on them sometimes and the beautiful flowers and just how green everything is. It's kind of like deserty golf. It's just different than what I grew up with in Florida. I find it very beautiful, and I love going out there.
Q. Kind of like today here, 83 and beautiful. Stacy, what about you?
STACY LEWIS: It's cold here. I think most players, at least for me, you start thinking about it the first of the year because it's what do I need to do to be ready for the first major, and so everything you're doing from really whenever you start back up kind of in January through March, I think that's what it's all about. That's what you're practicing for is kind of to get your game sharp for that tournament. You know, certainly the tournaments not having those tournaments, I think that definitely hurts because I think that's what a lot of people use that Asia Swing to kind of help be prepared for that first major.
So I'll be interested to see who comes ready and who's maybe still a little bit rusty.
Q. Can I ask you, you mentioned earlier, Stacy and Brittany, you were planning to play Thailand -- Brittany, I think you said Thailand and Singapore. Can I ask you, if those tournaments had gone ahead, would you have played, or would you have pulled out unilaterally?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: That's a great question. I was planning on going, just because I missed it last year because I was pregnant and I just love going -- I don't love the heat so much over there, but just the cheap foot massages every day and the bubble teas and the mango sticky rice. There's a lot of things that I love about Thailand and Singapore. Not the heat. That's the only thing I don't like. But I was planning on going until it got worse and then my caddie was like, no, it's not a good idea.
Q. That was before the LPGA officially canceled?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Correct.
Q. So you had already decided not to go?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No, no, I was planning on going. I wanted to go until they canceled it, and then I was bummed, but obviously coming back and being stuck in quarantine or giving it to my daughter, there was a lot of -- there was more negatives than there were positives for foot massages and mango sticky rice.
STACY LEWIS: Not the golf, just those other things.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No. It's a good tournament, too.
STACY LEWIS: I was actually in Australia when that was all canceled, and I was kind of glad because I was -- it was early in the week there. It was Monday. So I hadn't really gotten to the point where I was to the point where I was going to decide whether I was going or not, but just the thought of potentially -- not just of me getting it but bringing it back to my daughter and being quarantined and not being able to spend more time with her, I just -- I don't know. I don't know what I would have done if I had to have made that choice, but I mean, I probably would have picked our health over playing in the golf tournament.
I'm very glad the Tour made the calls that they did. I know they were hard, but it was just a chance that we couldn't take just with all the players traveling and the caddies, the support staff. There are a lot of people that were going to be going through airports, and the way we travel in those events, too, we're on buses, and one person gets it, we're all sick. I really feel like the Tour made the right call.
Q. And just looking forward, if you were to qualify for the Olympics, what are your thoughts about that? Is that something you'd be worried about?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I'm worried about the whole season.
STACY LEWIS: I know, I am, too. It's in the U.S. now, too, so yeah, traveling to California or traveling anywhere, through any airport, I think you're thinking about it and you're aware of it.
I took Clorox wipes with me to Australia and wiped everything down on the airplane. I just think it's going to be --
BRITTANY LINCICOME: You're that mom now?
STACY LEWIS: Well, yeah. It's a way of life more than anything. I think it's not going away anytime soon. I hope by the Olympics that it's kind of fizzled itself out and it's not an issue because you don't want that for such a big sporting event.
Q. And what about you, Brittany?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, same thing Stacy said. I would love to play in the Olympics. I mean, that's like prior to the Olympics, Solheim was our Olympics, and now that we have the Olympics, that would be a dream come true to play it, but obviously our health is more important, unfortunately, and we'll just have to cross that bridge when we got there.
Q. And on an unrelated topic, Stacy, I know you were on the USGA regarding the maternity leave policy. What were some of the things that you hashed over before coming up with the final details?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I mean, it was more just conversations because I started talking to them about it last summer, and obviously they gave -- it was actually Brittany and I were kind of the reasons that they've changed this rule, but just kind of giving them the reasoning and showing that it shouldn't matter when during the year you have your baby because that's kind of how the policy previously was. It just depended on what time of year you had the baby and whether you had played or when you stopped playing.
We talked about various things like how do you determine when you stop playing, the Rolex Ranking things was something that my agent and I kind of came up with, that we felt like if you were inside that cutoff when you stopped playing that that's when you should get in.
So it was really just kind of giving them some ideas and some different thoughts, and seeing it kind of from a mom's perspective of what we're trying to do and that it's hard, and that even the year after having the baby is harder than playing while you're pregnant. And I thought what was pretty cool was that they added the paternity side, as well, because PGA TOUR doesn't have a paternity policy right now, and so they're really kind of stepping things up there and allowing for some change on the guys' side, as well.
Q. I just want to ask an ANA question about the golf course. How do you hope that it's playing this year? What are your preferences for what you'd like to see and how it was when you won maybe that you liked?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I want to see it playing hard, thick rough, fast greens. Yeah, I think that's how it should be played. I think that's how it's played at its best. Thick rough. I swear they're making the fairways more and more narrow every year, which is very challenging, but it's super fun. It makes it fun, and 18 being moved up, obviously as a long hitter I love that aspect of it, so yeah, I think that the harder the better. It's how majors should be played, and I think that's how that course is at its best.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think I know the year I won, and I would say it's been a few years, but I think when it plays firm and fast is when it plays its best. I think it challenges us with the curves of the fairways, they come into play. I'd say the last three or four years it's really been pretty soft, so balls are hitting and releasing as much, and not quite what it used to be. I remember the year Morgan won, you couldn't keep a ball in the fairway. I think she was a couple under par is all. I would just like to see it play hard enough where the winning score doesn't get to double digits.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Totally agree.
Q. This year we've had a lot more players, I think all practically, accepted their invites to play as amateur invites at the ANA rather than take their place at Augusta. Do you totally understand what those players are thinking in terms of taking the chance to play in a major rather than going to play Augusta?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I love it. I love it. I think -- I actually talked to Kaitlin Papp; she's one of those amateurs. Actually talked to her about it because she was struggling with that decision. When I told her is if you're planning on playing professional golf and you get an opportunity to come play in a major championship, why would you say no. And I just think to go and get to see where your game is at, play in a major, see what the crowds are like, how your emotions feel, I just don't think you can put a price tag on that, and so I just think it's a great thing. I think it's just great that all those girls decided that they wanted to do that and support our major. I think you're going to see that over the years.
I mean, some they said, I get to play in Augusta next year or I've already played it or whatever it is, but I just think if you have an opportunity to play in a major, why would you turn it down.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I totally agree. But if anybody wants to take me to Augusta, because I've never played it, I would be happy to go. But I totally agree. I think if you're looking to turn pro in the near future, as cool as Augusta is, there's nothing like ANA and playing in a major on the highest level of women's golf. I mean, I know it's a crappy situation and it's a hard decision, but I would lean towards playing in an LPGA event, I think, if I was in that situation.
Q. It seems like everybody is going that way after last year. Do you think Augusta should have a professional event for you?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Absolutely.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, because I've never played there.
Q. Just not the week of the ANA. Do you think it will lead to that, their amateur tournament? Are you expecting them to say we'd like to have a pro tournament for the women?
STACY LEWIS: I don't expect it anytime soon.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I agree. But we have ANA. We like that one. That's our Masters.
STACY LEWIS: We have a lot of great majors and a lot of great partners that give us a great stage for women's golf, and that's what we're going to focus on.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports