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June 22, 2014

Stacy Lewis


MIKE TROSTEL: It's my pleasure to welcome Stacy Lewis to the interview room. 4-under par 66 in the final round today for a 72 hole total of even par, 280. Runner up finish, Stacy's best finish of her U.S. Women's Open career. Let's go through the round today. 8 birdies, which is a record for not only this championship, but the men's championship that was here, as well. The previous record is only 6 birdies in a round. So obviously you had it going pretty well. You bogeyed 1, and got it going on 2.

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I really got off to a terrible start. I hit it in the native and then hit a terrible shot and did really well to make bogey on the first hole. And then kind of started just a series of hard holes where I just hit some great iron shots. I was talking to Mike Davis, I told him that I birdied 2, 6, 8 and 9 on the front nine. And I think that's pretty crazy to do on this golf course. So it was really -- once I made the turn and got to 8 and 9 and birdied those two, that was when I knew I had a chance then. I knew if I could make a few more and hang in there that I would still have a chance.

MIKE TROSTEL: Were you trying to push the number at a certain point? You were obviously half an hour or so ahead of Michelle Wie. What was your mindset coming down the stretch?

STACY LEWIS: Yes and no. Coming into the day I thought if I could get back to even par it would be a good spot. I thought with the pressure of a Major and the way this golf course played, I thought I had a chance. I think on the back nine there I was trying to hit good golf shots is really all I was trying to do. And the nerves kind of came in. I made some bad swings, hit some good putts that didn't go in, but to birdie 17 and 18 and put the pressure on. You can't ask for a better finish. And just really proud of myself the way I hung in there, and just came back after the last couple of days.

MIKE TROSTEL: Let's run through the card and then we'll open it up for questions. You talked about your birdie on 2. Then you went to hole No. 6, what did you hit in there.

STACY LEWIS: 6 I hit 5-iron in, was just trying to hit the middle of the green and made about a 30-footer there. Then 8 I hit 7-iron to about ten feet and made that. And then another 7-iron into 9 to about 12 feet and made that one.

MIKE TROSTEL: We head to the back nine. 10 was playing a little shorter, the par-5.

STACY LEWIS: I hit 6 iron in and it went up the slope and came back and it sat on the front edge, I think it was only on about ten paces, so it was about 30 feet.

Q. 13?
STACY LEWIS: 13, hit 3-wood to the front left bunker, and blasted it out to about six, seven feet and made that one.

MIKE TROSTEL: Bogeyed 14 and 16, but as you mentioned great is finish on 17 and 18.

STACY LEWIS: Great bogey on 14. And 17 hit 7-iron to maybe 20 feet and made that. And then I hit pitching wedge into 18. Again, it was about up the same length as 17, maybe just under 20 feet.

MIKE TROSTEL: Very impressive 66. We'll open it up for questions.

Q. Knowing that Michelle Wie is a friend of yours, can you give us your honest reaction when you heard she made birdie on 17?
STACY LEWIS: As a competitor you're not surprised. You expect your competitor -- you expect them to make putts. And if you hit a good shot in there, there's not a whole lot of room around that pin. If you hit a good shot you're inside 20 feet. I wasn't surprised, just knowing Michelle Wie and the way she grinds and hangs in there, I wasn't surprised at all.

Q. When you got within 1 on the birdie on 13. Was there any part of you felt you needed to push in a U.S. Open, knowing that 10 was pretty much a birdie hole, and 13 the tees were up?
STACY LEWIS: No, I mean, honestly, I didn't even know I got within a shot there. I wasn't looking at leaderboards very much. And I kind of glanced at them here and there. But I wasn't watching, just because as soon as you try to start forcing things on this golf course, it usually goes the other way. I was trying to do the best I could, make birdies when I hit good shots into there. But you can't force things, I mean it's just the course plays.

Q. Let's talk about that bogey on 14. You got two of the worst lies I've seen in two weeks that I've been here.

Q. First off, how far was that up and down from?
STACY LEWIS: 83 yards. So I had the first one, I mean I think my feet -- I think I was moving as I hit the ball. So I was just trying to get it back out there and play. I didn't see it, but my caddie told me it kind of hit a bush and stopped. And just had a terrible lie from there. And he was kind of trying to get me to hit it up there further. I'm like, how about we hit it down by Paula's ball and get it up and down from there. I knew I was good enough with my wedges and I was putting well, that I could get it up and down there.

Q. What does this win say from your point of view and what could it possibly do for the women's game?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I think that scene on 18, being on network TV, as many people as we had around there at Pinehurst No. 2 and Michelle Wie winning the golf tournament, I don't think you can script it any better. I think it's great for the game of golf. I think it's even better for women's golf. I'm so happy for Michelle Wie. I mean this has been such a long time coming for her. She works way too hard. I've seen the work she puts in. We work out together when we're home. We play some golf together when we're home. And she's out there grinding away just like the rest of us. To see her get it done, and the way she did it today, coming back after that double, I'm just so happy for her.

Q. I wanted to get your thoughts on the course is playing firm and fast, being set up at 6,153 for the final round of a U.S. Open?
STACY LEWIS: You know, I was surprised the first few days, really, that it was playing between 62, 63. And it feels -- it felt a lot longer than that. I mean a number, what it address up it, it is what it is. There's holes you're hitting 4-irons off tee, you're hitting hybrids. You're still hitting long irons into the greens. Those birdies I made were not with all wedges. It was pretty rare, actually, to have a wedge into a hole. I don't know, I questioned somebody's math there, because it doesn't play -- it didn't play like 61.

Q. You got off to a great start on Thursday with a 67. And then a little off. And then the great round today. Just what about the arc of your playing this week overall?
STACY LEWIS: Well, the ball-striking was there all week. And that's -- the first three days I really didn't putt very well. I shot 67 the first day, but I think I wasn't more than six inches off of any green. So I should have played a lot better the first day. And the putting -- the next two days I didn't hit the ball as well, and the putting wasn't there, so that showed in the score. And then finally today got my act together on the greens and putted a little bit better. But the ball-striking was there, and that's one thing going forward that I can take some confidence in that I can have something be a little bit off and still have a chance to win on Sunday.

Q. We got about every break we could get with the weather and everything for two weeks. But on balance looking back now, do you think this was the right way to do it, that having the men as a springboard into up the women's brought it more attention than it might have otherwise?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think so. I don't think we could have done this anywhere else. I don't think any other golf course could have stood up the way this one did. There are a lot of ball marks, but you probably noticed us fixing them a lot out there. But other than that, you know, the golf course held up really, really well. I think anytime you get the guys talking about us it's a great thing. The guys equally excited. They wanted to see how we played this golf course. I think we showed that we can. I think we did a great thing for the women's game. I don't know, I don't know going forward if it happens again. But if we can find another venue like this, then maybe it should.

Q. Do you happen to remember the first time you played in a tournament with Michelle Wie?
STACY LEWIS: We played Q-School together.

Q. That was the first?
STACY LEWIS: I think so, yeah. Michelle Wie was playing in pro events when I was still playing my amateur events. Yeah, I think Q-School was probably the first time. I don't remember how many rounds, but we played a couple of rounds together there.

Q. You're the top ranked player in the world, do you feel that a Michelle Wie victory at a Major kind of sends a message that maybe the bar is going to be raised soon?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I've got Michelle Wie chasing, you've got Lexi, you've got Inbee is playing well. Lydia. There's a lot of people chasing me. And you look at Michelle Wie and Lexi and the way they hit the ball and how far they hit it, they're right on my heels. But it's great. I mean Michelle Wie pushes me to get better. I think I push some people to get better, too. That's why we play together when we're home. That's why we practice together. We want to make each other better.

Q. When you made your pro debut, Michelle Wie was not a member, still playing the PGA TOUR on occasion, still getting a lot of exceptions. What was your first impression of her when you were at that stage in your career. And all these years later what's the one thing most people don't notice about Michelle Wie that you do?
STACY LEWIS: Well, watching from an outsider, just being a spectator watching, is kind of like, wow, that's kind of crazy to be doing that at such a young age. And just kind of wondering why is she playing against the guys and things like that. But I've talked to her about it and I asked her about it. I think what's surprising is her response, is that I grew up in Hawaii where I play with guys all the time. There weren't a lot of female amateur events, because I had to play with the guys. If I didn't play with the guys I didn't get to compete. For her to play in a men's event at the time, when you're 15, 16 years old, you don't know the difference. Her reasoning of it is really quite funny, because it makes sense in her head. She doesn't look at it the way the rest of us look at it. She had this child-like perspective. She didn't realize how big the world was. I think her parents kept her pretty sheltered at the time. Which probably looking back was a good thing for her.

Q. And now?
STACY LEWIS: And now, just that it's her game. You guys see her parents, and people write all these negative things about her parents, and this and that, but it's Michelle Wie's game. It's not anybody else's. She takes ownership of it. She knows how to fix her golf swing. She doesn't need someone telling her how to do it all the time. It's her game. And I think people need to know that.

Q. Being the No. 1 player and having achieved what you have, do you think when your name went up today it got her attention and other people's attention more so than another player?
STACY LEWIS: I would hope so. I don't know. I would hope so. I hope that -- I think people kind of know me by now and know that I don't give up, and I'm always going to hang around. It's probably not a surprise to them that I made a run today.

MIKE TROSTEL: Stacy Lewis, congratulations.

STACY LEWIS: Thank you.

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