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INTERNATIONAL CROWN


July 25, 2014


Paula Creamer

Cristie Kerr

Stacy Lewis

Lexi Thompson


OWINGS MILLS, MARYLAND

KELLY THESIER:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We would like to welcome Team USA to the interview room here at the International Crown media center.
Ladies, congratulations on winning both your matches today.  I know it was tough to sit in here yesterday after not earning a single point, but you came back today and won both matches earning four point and moving yourself back into second spot in Pool A.
Stacy, what was the mentality like yesterday after the matches and how did you guys kind of rally together to come back and put together the performance that you did today?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, obviously we were disappointed, but we knew with the format of this event and that we weren't out of it.  I think switching up the pairings helped.  It got some different momentum going out there.
We knew we were still in it.  That was the big thing.  We just had to go out there and fight today and fight for every shot and every putt.  We knew that the matches were going to be hard.  Just from playing those girls in Solheim Cup, we knew it was going to be tough.  So we hung in there all day and feel pretty fortunate to come out on top.
KELLY THESIER:  Paula I saw a photo you posted of a team dinner, all of you guys together.  Where was that dinner?  What did you guys talk about?  Kind of what did that do, do you think for this team today?
PAULA CREAMER:  You know, like what Stacy said, we knew we still aren't too far out of this.  It was just one day.  I think that it kind of woke us up in a sense, too, that we needed to get out there and win some holes, get up on the board, and definitely just be positive with each other.
I had a blast.  I think everybody had a fun time last night.  Maybe two sentences were spoke about golf the whole night maybe.  And that's kind of what we needed, just to hang out with each other with our caddies and our liaison Becky and just have a normal night.  Came out today and we had a mission that we wanted to accomplish and we all did a good job.

Q.  Where did you go?
PAULA CREAMER:  I can't tell you that because we might want to go back.
(Laughter.)
KELLY THESIER:  Some things are team secrets.  They don't want to give away their dinner spot.  I don't blame her.
You guys were the only team to switch up your pairings after day one.  We saw that it was successful.  So what do you think about these pairings today that worked?  Not to say that it wasn't the same yesterday, but what was it about these pairings today that worked well together?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, we can play with anybody on our team.  We could switch tomorrow.  You never know what we're going to do, because we have that ability.  Emotionally, relationship wise, communication with each other, we can do it.  Obviously, we needed a little bit of a change yesterday to get that momentum, to get that going.
Who knows what we would have done.  But obviously we made the right decision today and we felt comfortable.  In best ball, you just got to go take care of your own business and get the job done and we did that.
KELLY THESIER:  Open it up to questions.

Q.  Two days in, are you guys enjoying this format as much as I'm enjoying this format?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, I would say yeah.  I really enjoy best ball.  We all get to play our own ball out and we get to feed off each other.  If one is making par, then the other can go for birdie.  So we can definitely feed off each other during the whole round.
But team events in general, we get to bond so much more than just being an individual sport.  And with Cristie and I out there today, she was there to pump me up on every tee shot.  So that meant a lot to me.  I don't get that ever playing individual sports.  So it was nice.
CRISTIE KERR:  Hopefully I didn't bug you too much.
(Laughter.)
It's pretty interesting format, concept for a tournament.  I think it's refreshing to have a different kind of event.  It's just not a normal golf tournament.  It's something different.
I think that it allows for comebacks like this.  And I told these girls last night, there are going to be teams that shut out tomorrow and obviously we won four points today.
So you can't take anything for granted in this kind of format.  I mean you need two shots into every hole because the course is playing so long, too.  So we just got to keep doing our job and play well together as a team.

Q.  For each team, what was the best fit about the pairing today for both of the teams?
STACY LEWIS:¬† Like what was the best pairing fit?¬† I think Paula and I, we just feed off of each other and we're really good about picking the other person up.¬† We talked about that we just kind of ham‑and‑egged it pretty good.¬† When I needed to make a putt, I did.¬† I think early on I made a putt on 5, and that really kept the momentum going for us.¬† Then Paula kind of kept things going a little bit on the back nine.
We just play similar, we hit it similar.¬† We were able to hit on par‑3s and say, How did you hit that?¬† Club off of each other.¬† So we just play a lot of golf together and that's what was the best part.
CRISTIE KERR:  I thought Lexi and I had a lot of chemistry out there together.  We played with a lot of heart for each other.  When she needed to make those big clutch par putts she did.  And when I needed to get something going for the team, I did.  And that's what really best ball is all about.  So I thought the chemistry for our team was great.

Q.  Stacy and Paula, can you talk about 18, and after seeing them make a couple putts to cut it to one, were the tee shots bigger than the second shots or the approach shots or which shot is harder in a situation like that?  Also, how did you feel when they put both shots in the bunker?
STACY LEWIS:  I think the second shot is harder.
PAULA CREAMER:  For sure.
STACY LEWIS:  The tee ball, it's so long, the bunker is not really in play, so you can just bust it up there.
But we walked off of 17, and I said, There's still an American flag up there.  We said, Two balls in the fairway, two balls in the green, and we did that.  And that put a lot of pressure on them.
I think hitting first helped us a lot, because it put a lot of pressure on them.
I would say it was a little bit of a relief when they hit in the bunker, but until they hit the bunker shots, I don't think we were relaxed at all.
PAULA CREAMER:  No.

Q.  For any of you, I forget who said that you're familiar with the players from Spain, so you knew their games.  With Thailand, I guess there's less familiarity.  Does that change?  I mean, is it easier to play people you know because you know their games?
PAULA CREAMER:  Once again, it's match play.  Yesterday you would have thought that it would be a pretty close match and their match came down to the wire.  But Thailand team is strong.  The two sisters are a good team and the other two aren't messing around either.
So no matter who you play, you have to get two balls on the greens and keep putting that pressure on them.  But we do have a lot of history playing, obviously, with the Spanish girls.  So we know how they play.  We know that they're going to fight to the end for sure, no matter what.  They have been in those kind of situations, whereas the other players haven't.  But just different formats from when they played over in Asia against the countries.

Q.  Two questions, first for Lexi, curious what Kerr says to you to pump you up.
LEXI THOMPSON:  That's a secret.  We can't be saying that.
(Laughter.)
That can't be repeated.

Q.  Cristie, what do you say?
CRISTIE KERR:  I just try to keep positive for her.  She is so good and she hits it so far, I think that when she has good tempo, I mean you won't even believe how far the ball goes.  So just try to stay positive and keep her focused on the task at hand, really.

Q.  Comment on this course and where it ranks in terms of courses you play all year on Tour.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, the course is playing long.  It's playing like Major Championship long.  About 6600, I believe.
STACY LEWIS:  If Lexi says it's long, it's long.
(Laughter.)
LEXI THOMPSON:¬† Yeah, it's long.¬† I mean, I have a good amount of mid irons into these par‑4s.¬† With these tucked pin locations, it's tough.
But it's in great shape.  The fairways are pure.  The greens are rolling really fast in certain directions, especially.  But like I said, the course is in great shape and I think we're all pretty honored to be playing here this week.
STACY LEWIS:  I think that the toughness is up there with the Major Championships, I think especially with some of the hole locations they have had over the last couple days.  They have been pretty tricky.  A couple have been pretty goofy.  18 was really tough.
PAULA CREAMER:¬† Three off the right you're hitting a 5‑iron in.¬† I mean, it's not like you're hitting a 9‑iron in.
CRISTIE KERR:¬† What did you hit into 9 today?¬† I hit 5‑wood.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, it's major.  It's a Major Championship course.  The greens have a ton of slope in them.  You get on the wrong side of the holes, you're just tapping it and hopefully it stops.  But it's good, it's a really good, fair test.

Q.  To any of you, how important are the team building events that you do, like going to dinner last night with the caddies and the team liaison?  How important is it, even in this kind of a format where you are playing your own ball and there are only four of you?
PAULA CREAMER:  Bonding is bonding, no matter what.  I think it's really neat when you do have four very different personalities.  But we all have one very common thing, we hate to lose and we are all grinders sitting at this table and it's never over until it's over.
But we have fun.  I think that obviously the past Solheims, we have got to understand we can let our guard down a little bit and show just a little bit more personality of who we are as people.  I think that that respect has gone a long way amongst each other and our other Americans that we have played with.
I have to say, though, that the highlight of the day was Michael Phelps, shaking Michael Phelps' hand, and after her putt she made.  But I haven't washed my hand yet.
Yeah, Michael Phelps, I almost fell over, but, you know, you missed it.  How could you miss him.
CRISTIE KERR:  I hung out with him a bit in New York and he's such a nice guy.
PAULA CREAMER:  Here, you can touch my hand.  It's okay.
CRISTIE KERR:  He's golf crazy now.
PAULA CREAMER:  We talked about that for two holes, you know.  I mean, when are we ever going to do that again?
CRISTIE KERR:  Did you win those two holes?
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, we did.  Yeah.  So things like that, you know, normally we probably wouldn't be talking about that, but in this situation, our bond and what we do at dinners, it isn't about golf.  It's about just life and representing our country and then going forward with that.

Q.  Which hole was that?
PAULA CREAMER:  8 green.
STACY LEWIS:  After 8, she won 9.  She won 9.  She was so excited she won 9.
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, I know I was so excited.  I said, I'm going to swim my way up there now.
(Laughter.)
It was awesome.  That's all I got to say.  Derek, sorry, but I got to say, it was pretty awesome.
(Laughter.)

Q.  Two part question.  Paula, is the secret restaurant now like a good luck charm?  Do you guys have to go back there again?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† We might go back.¬† Maybe switch it up a little bit.¬† We are creatures of habit, but we're not going to get too‑‑ we have our own little idiosyncrasies and things like that, but the secret restaurant's going to remain anonymous until the tournament's over.
CRISTIE KERR:  I don't know about the restaurant, but we make our caddies wear those shorts again.
STACY LEWIS:  That was it.  The caddie shorts.  That was it.  The shorts.
CRISTIE KERR:  The shorts.

Q.¬† Also in like four‑day events, a lot of times we hear Saturday is moving day.¬† But after what happened yesterday, how much did all of you feel you had to make some sort of a move today to get back in this thing?
PAULA CREAMER:  We just needed a positive.  We needed to come in, walk in here with our heads in the right direction.  Stacy brought us together on the driving range this morning, right before they had to go to the first tee, and just said, you know, No matter what we're going to do, win or lose, we're going to fight and we're going to grind and we're going to have fun doing it and be positive.
Yesterday, obviously when you saw us in here, it wasn't the same four girls.¬† But that is golf and we are the same people.¬† It's just we kind of, like I said, we needed that little bit of a wake‑up call.
We're still going to have to keep going ahead.¬† It's the second day.¬† We still have a lot of golf left.¬† We finally got to be up in matches.¬† It took us a while to even get USA is 1‑up on the board.¬† When we did that, we never let go.
CRISTIE KERR:  I think it's important what happened yesterday, we learned from that.  We're not going to take anything for granted for going forward in the rest of the tournament.

Q.  I think this is for Stacy.  You're the only one of the four that has a sister, is that right?
CRISTIE KERR:  I have a sister.

Q.  Okay.  Maybe both of you can answer this.  I'm going to screw up their names.  You know who I'm talking about, the sisters playing together for Thailand, playing on a team.  They were in here a little earlier and they were joking around about how they almost like to have a competition between each other when they're playing on the team.  I wonder if you guys could talk about what you think it would be like to play professional golf with your sister.
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know if I could play golf with my sister in general.
(Laughter.)
Gosh.
CRISTIE KERR:  Me neither.
STACY LEWIS:  Our personalities are so different.  I don't know if that would ever work.
But I think that they're close.  They're very close.  They're pretty close in age and they're very close.  They have a good time together, and obviously they played a ton of golf together.  So that was definitely going to be an advantage to them.
But who knows.  I mean, gosh, I don't know about you, Cristie, but I could never play with my sister.  They don't play golf at all.
CRISTIE KERR:  I'm not close with mine, even let alone playing golf.  I have one.  I have a sister.

Q.  Stacy and Paula, in your pairing at the Solheim Cup, was there anything kind of forged between you two that helps you even now?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I would think so.  I think that we played alternate shot there though.  But I can remember at one point, we were up pretty big in that match and we kind of were going backwards.  I got a little angry and kind of left a green early and Paula kind of got mad at me and yelled at me.
PAULA CREAMER:  I did.  I really did.
STACY LEWIS:  She really did.  But it was awake up call for me that I needed to be there for her and I was kind of caught up in myself and what I was doing.  I needed to be there for her.  I really feel like that's when it all started.  We had to grind that match out.
We won that one on 18, too, and I don't know.  We just both like playing together.  Even when we're playing regular events, we like playing together.  It's just our games mesh really well.

Q.¬† Follow‑up to that is, what did you say, Paula, when you yelled at her?
PAULA CREAMER:¬† It was on that‑‑
STACY LEWIS:  It was about whether a putt was going to be conceded or not.
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah.
STACY LEWIS:¬† It was more ‑‑
PAULA CREAMER:  I looked for her and she wasn't there, and I said, You can't leave me.  Don't leave me hanging.
I said, This isn't over yet.
I mean, I maybe said it with a little bit more authority in my voice, but...
I was not happy.¬† I was not a happy girl and I let her know.¬† I believe she birdied the next hole right after on the par‑5.¬† But that's things that we never played in a match together and it was tough.¬† I think we were like 5‑up, and we kept 4‑up, 3‑up, 2‑up.¬† And then we finally got another birdie and it was going downhill.¬† At that moment, like Stacy said, especially in alternate shot, you got to be there for your partner the whole time, no matter what.
And that was just a learning experience for both of us.  Ever since then I think that we truly enjoy playing as a team together.

Q.  Not to be a downer, but it crossed my mind, so I'm wondering if it crossed any of your minds, what this event would be like if Team USA wasn't playing on Sunday?  Did you think about that at all going into today?
STACY LEWIS:  No, I didn't.
CRISTIE KERR:  No.
LEXI THOMPSON:  No.
PAULA CREAMER:  No.
KELLY THESIER:  Well, thank you very much, ladies.  Great playing today and best of luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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