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July 26, 2014

Paula Creamer

Cristie Kerr

Stacy Lewis

Lexi Thompson


KRAIG KANN:  Welcome to the press room here at the International Crown.  Pleasure to have in Team USA.  Got to my far left Paula Creamer, Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, and Cristie Kerr.  Let's work our way from the most recent and backwards and get thoughts on the playoff and the feelings of potential emotion out on that green.
Start with you, Cristie.
CRISTIE KERR:  Well, first thing I want to say is I'm proud of these girls.  Proud to be their teammate.  Thursday was a hard day for us and it ended up being kind of the thing that kind of bit us in the butt.  It wasn't yesterday or today, we all played our hearts out.
It is disappointing.  Especially to go in a playoff and have it come down to one hole and total score.  So it's just disappointing, but we got to take the positives away from our play the last couple days and hold our head high.
KRAIG KANN:  Lexi, your thoughts on the playoff.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Like Cristie said, we had a rough start to the tournament the first day, but we fought hard the second day and today.  We definitely have to take the positives out of it and I just got an unfortunate break on the playoff hole, but I hit two great shots.
CRISTIE KERR:  Two great shots?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah.  Two bad breaks, yeah.
But we switched up a few pairings.  I think that we'll take the positives out of it and look forward to other team events in the next few years.
KRAIG KANN:  Paula and Stacy, let's get your thoughts on the match that became quite pivotal down the stretch.  Your match with Phatlum and Sattayabanphot, won 1‑up.  Stacy, your thoughts on the match and what went right, what went wrong, and ultimately how it was decided in your mind.
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I think on both sides, it was just a well‑played match.  Both teams, we both gave ourselves a lot of birdie opportunities, a lot of looks at it.  I thought Paula and I actually played a little bit better today as a team than we did yesterday.
But Pornanong just went crazy there on the back nine on us.  If she wasn't hitting it to gimmie range, she was making a 20‑footer.  And we had plenty of opportunities, though, we had the par‑3, 13, we had two putts in there that we probably should have made one of those.  We had a couple other good looks coming in, too.  So it's certainly disappointing, because we played a lot better than that outcome.
KRAIG KANN:  Paula, your thoughts on your match this afternoon.
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, we went against a team, she almost holed it on No. 1.  So we knew it was going to be a ‑‑ right off the bat we're giving her, just, Here you go, nice shot.  Nice birdie.
And the next hole, they make a bomb.  And then the third hole...
I mean, it's just one of those things where they definitely had the rhythm the whole time.  We kept fighting back, fighting back, and when they had a birdie opportunity, they capitalized a little bit more than what we did.
I know I missed a putt on 11 and Stacy made a great putt on 12, and then we both had looks on 13.  I could have made my putt on 14.  So on.  15, she hits it to a foot and that's a difficult hole and give that one.
But they played great and we knew they were going to.  They're sneaky like that.  They're just good players.  It was unfortunate, but it was a really good match.
KRAIG KANN:  Get some hands up and some questions.  I want to get a comment from Stacy and Cristie, before we take our first question, on simply the fact that Korea and the UnitedStates, the two top seeds, ultimately are the ones that end up in a playoff like this.  What does it say about the format?  We talked a lot about that in the beginning and there are only eight teams.  So let's start with you, Stacy.
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know if you want to know what we think of the format right now, but...
Well, first, the format's hard.  It's only two matches a day, so there's only opportunity for four points a day.  It's best ball, which with best ball, you can throw rankings and all that kind of stuff out the window.
It's just crazy to think that we're two points out of the lead of this thing and we're not able to play tomorrow.  So that's really what's the most disappointing part about the format.
But it's the first year of this event.  Nobody really knew kind of how it was going to fall.  We just wish we had an opportunity tomorrow, because I think that we really could win tomorrow if we had an opportunity to play.
KRAIG KANN:  Cristie?
CRISTIE KERR:  I totally agree.  Like she said, it's a first year event and maybe they will look at tweaking some things in the future, because with eight points up for tomorrow, I mean anything can really happen.
But, hey, there's going to be winners and there's going to be losers, and we're on the losing end this time.  We played our hearts out.  We just didn't have our day on Thursday.  No sour grapes here at all.  Just have to take this as a learning experience.  We got some good Solheim Cup experience out there, too, with some different pairings.
KRAIG KANN:  Take some questions.

Q.  For Stacy, did you feel any extra pressure today, knowing that this is a home team, home field advantage and what if the U.S. isn't there tomorrow to make it?  Did that enter your mind?
STACY LEWIS:  Honestly, the first time I thought about that was on our cart ride up into the media center.  I never thought that we wouldn't be playing tomorrow.  It never really even crossed my mind until we were driving up here.  I don't know.
But I don't think we felt pressure by any means.  I thought that it was great to have the fans out and all.  It was really cool the way they pulled us through there and it was cool to hear the roars from what they were doing ahead of us, and they were really trying to get behind us.
So I just wish we could have used that home field advantage a little bit more.

Q.  Is there anything you know right now that you would tweak for next year in terms of the format?
STACY LEWIS:  Just the way all the points have fallen.  I think that everybody, every team should be playing on Sunday.  I just think it's too bunched up with the points to really kind of‑‑ I mean, I think first and last is five points apart, which, I mean, that's not very much in this format.
So I think that's the only thing you tweak in it.  Maybe look at the playoff we had today, keeping it as a best ball and not using that second ball, maybe doing something different there, just I think purely because I know the fans out there didn't understand what was going on.
PAULA CREAMER:  They were going to the next tee.
STACY LEWIS:  The fans were walking to 17 and So Yeon is over there making her putt.  So the fans just didn't quite know what was going on there and so maybe look at that, too.

Q.  Whoever wants to take this, the Americans obviously are re‑surging, you've all been playing very well.  But when you look at back‑to‑back Solheim Cups and now this, the natural question is what isn't translating in the team events?
CRISTIE KERR:  Well, a loaded question there.
STACY LEWIS:  Do you have the answer?
CRISTIE KERR:  I don't think I do have the answer.  No, I mean, I think you have to look at the overall body of work and what the Americans have done the last couple years on Tour, especially this year.  You have to look at that.  Match play's a different animal.  It's very serious competition.  It's a fun event, too.  So we have to keep that in mind.  Germany is just a year away.  So we'll see what happens there and you can write about it when it happens.
STACY LEWIS:  I think we learned a little bit on Thursday.  I think we learned that we had to be a little bit tougher and to support our partners out there.  I think that's something that all of us are going to take into Solheims and this event in the future.  I think we did a better job of that, though, the last two days, supporting each other better and just being a little bit tougher.  Just making some key putts, that's really in match play that's all it comes down to.
CRISTIE KERR:  And also I think I learned that the comfortable pairings are not always the best ones.  You need to find the chemistry and the spark between your pairings to kind of egg each other on.
PAULA CREAMER:  What are you trying to say there?
CRISTIE KERR:  No, I'm saying ‑‑ all right.  Paula, you know I love you.  If you're used to playing with somebody and you played with them a lot, sometimes routine is routine.  Mixing things up is great.  That's what I meant to say.  You know that.

Q.  Lexi, walk us through the decision to putt on the playoff hole from down below the green.
LEXI THOMPSON:  My ball was in like the back of a sand divot, so, I mean, pretty much my wedge would have dug in and it would have been a duff automatically.
STACY LEWIS:  There was no other option.

Q.  Stacy, any of you, did this remind you a little bit of like March Madness where you're the No. 1 seed, you have the best record, body of work, but it doesn't matter in a competition like this?  I mean, we see that every year with the basketball tournaments with the lower seeds.  Did it have that feel at all to you?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, it definitely did.  We said at the beginning of the week, the seeds don't matter.  The rankings, the world rankings, they don't matter.  Especially best ball more than anything, because you can have a bad hole and your partner can keep you in there.
So it kind of had a crazy feel to it, I'm sure.  But it made for great TV, which that's what we were trying to do.  We're trying to get a fun event.  We're trying to get a lot of people watching us, and I think that we succeeded at that for sure.
KRAIG KANN:  Paula, do you have any thoughts on that, as far as it feeling like college basketball format and the seedings going in, etcetera?
PAULA CREAMER:  I didn't go to college, but...
STACY LEWIS:  Do you watch basketball even?
PAULA CREAMER:  All I can say is I think that it is a great event.  I think it brought a lot of excitement.  There's going to be changes, for sure.  Unfortunately, we aren't playing tomorrow.  You had the two top seeds in a playoff.  That happens in a lot of sports.  Not necessarily the best team on paper wins.
I think it's just such a hard one right now because we are only two points out of it and it came down to a playoff.  The format was different in the playoff than it was in the normal tournament, things like that.  That's a learning experience.
But it doesn't take away the day that we had yesterday and it doesn't take away the way that we played.  We just grinded our way as much as we possibly could in every match that we had.

Q.  I asked this question at the beginning of the week about this course and how it sets up and does it setup like a Major Championship.  Now having played it for three days, did it have a feel of a Major, not necessarily the tournament or the event, but the course?  Can you see a major, a Solheim Cup coming back to a place like this?
PAULA CREAMER:  This is an awesome match play golf course.  It is.  I couldn't see a full field out here.  I don't think we would get around very fast.  But it's an awesome match play course.  The pins, the way that they set it up was great for best ball.  It would be a little bit more difficult if it was alternate shot.  The rough was penalizing.  Fairways, you know, it's a little bit different grass than I think we're used to.  The greens were tricky.  So, yes, but I mean the format that we played, I think it was perfect for that.
KRAIG KANN:  Anybody else need comments from any other players on that question?  Are you good?  Okay.  Four more questions, and just so you know, there won't be a lot of time for individual stuff afterwards with these players, so please ask your questions in here.  Questions?

Q.  Paula, that was very dramatic, great TV.  For a player who has won a U.S. Open, been in a lot of Solheims, could you compare what the feeling was like out there at the end compared to the other big events you're in?
PAULA CREAMER:  The fans today were great.  It felt like a Solheim Cup in a sense with the people screaming 'USA.'  They were so much more into it the last two days.  I think it was just a learning experience for them on Thursday as well, and probably the people that watched it on TV or heard us say it, they got more involved.
But I mean we were grinding.  You're trying just as hard there as you are in any tournament, if not more.  You're playing for your team, you're playing for your country.  But the feel was there.
Like you said, the golf course makes it that way, too.  You can never let your head down, you got to keep going, keep moving.  But as in relationship to the atmosphere, I don't think it will ever get to Solheim Cup level, just because of the tradition and the past history of that.  But I think it will be right up near it.  In several years from now it's going to be a huge event for every country.

Q.  Especially for Cristie and Paula, your thoughts of how anxious you are to play in this event again and also to the next event's at Rich Harvest Farms where you've been part of a winning U.S. Solheim Cup team, how much would you look forward to coming back and hopefully improving your luck at that facility?
PAULA CREAMER:  I've always said I love playing on team events and just being able to be with the best players in the world and playing with them as your partners and just watching it.  But, yeah, I've been so motivated since the last several Solheims, it's just tough losing those and coming in here.  I don't feel like we lost by any means because I think that we did a good job.  We played hard.
If we were playing tomorrow, we wouldn't even be having this conversation, but I think that as a team and as the other Americans, others sitting watching us right now, I mean, we're very motivated.  Germany is going to be coming up soon and then Rich Harvest Farms.

Q.  So they told me tomorrow you could choose your own walk‑up music when you come out.  I'm curious what you guys were going to walk out to?
PAULA CREAMER:  I think I was going to be American woman.  By Lenny Kravitz.
STACY LEWIS:  I hadn't even gotten that far.
LEXI THOMPSON:  I had Head Strong by Trapped.
CRISTIE KERR:  I think I'm torn.  Just kidding.  No, I like the song I walked up to today, New York State of Mind.  I live in New York part‑time and, I don't know, torn between Walk It out or Walk It In, whatever that song is.
KRAIG KANN:  Cristie, I actually didn't allow you to answer the question about Rich Harvest Farms.  Did you have any comments on that?
CRISTIE KERR:  I don't even remember the question.
KRAIG KANN:  It's okay.  Then we'll move forward.  Go ahead.  In the back.

Q.  Lexi, your second shot on the playoff hole, if it sticks there, we're not even talking about you guys not coming back tomorrow.  You are coming back.  Will you be thinking about what might have been if that shot just didn't roll back down the hill?
STACY LEWIS:  We're not going to let her think about that.
CRISTIE KERR:  No, I think we're going to answer for her on this one.  No.
STACY LEWIS:  She hit two great golf shots there and she did exactly as she was supposed to do.
CRISTIE KERR:  She was the best player.  I think she was the best player the last couple days.  I mean, it was so much fun to watch her play.

Q.  I'm wondering are you guys going to come out here tomorrow, are you going to watch?  Also, who do you think may win this?
CRISTIE KERR:  I got an eight‑month‑old baby.  I'm going to take care of him and change some diapers.
LEXI THOMPSON:  I have no idea what I'm doing tomorrow.
STACY LEWIS:  I have no idea.
LEXI THOMPSON:  I'm just ‑‑
PAULA CREAMER:  I think we're still kind of realizing we're not playing.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, we're still absorbing it.
STACY LEWIS:  I think we'll watch and see the results.  I don't know if we'll come out.  But really, I mean, the points are so close, I mean anybody can win, really.
CRISTIE KERR:  Who would we root for if not ourselves?
STACY LEWIS:  I mean‑‑

Q.  Based on what you've seen so far, who do you think?
STACY LEWIS:  It's really hard to say.  I don't know.  You look at Taiwan swept us, we swept Spain, but then Spain swept Taiwan.  So I mean, what does that tell you?  Nothing, basically.
So it's really, really‑‑ it's so up for grabs, the points are so close that I don't know.  I don't know if there is a favorite for tomorrow.
CRISTIE KERR:  Like Stacy said, everything is so bunched up and so close, maybe they do need to look a little bit at the format.  Because if everybody was playing, everybody would be close and it might even be more exciting if nobody knew what was going to happen.  I mean, that would be such great TV.
KRAIG KANN:  Final thing before I let you go.  We'll start this way and go straight down.  You sat here a few days ago before the event even began with probably interesting expectations or maybe none at all, not knowing what the event was going to be.  Aside from the format conversation, your biggest take away and the overall excitement of the event, or what you'll leave town with about the International Crown.
CRISTIE KERR:  I think the International Crown generated a lot of interest by the media, a lot of interest by the fans, and I thought it was very good for our Tour.  It was a different, fresh kind of an idea and concept.  I think our Tour needs this kind of an event where we can include a lot of different countries, because we are such a global Tour.  I'm going to walk away saying I thought this event was pretty cool.
LEXI THOMPSON:  I would definitely agree with that.  The LPGA is such a global Tour and it's not just USA against Europe like Solheim Cup is.  It's seven other countries.  To play this format and match play, I think it got a lot of fans interested.
Even watching since day one as the fan base grew over the last few days, I mean, it was amazing to see.  I think this tournament has a great future ahead of it.
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I thought that it was a great first year.  I think the coolest part for me was to be able to see Yani out there, representing her country.  And the Australians, they didn't have the opportunity like we do at Solheim Cup.  So I think we succeeded there.  It had a different feel to it than Solheims, but it had a good feel to it.
I think it's an event that has a great opportunity to grow over the years, and I was just honored to be on Team USA the first year and can't wait to play with these girls again.
PAULA CREAMER:  I would say that was the coolest trophy, the crown, that is awesome.  I wanted to wear that crown.  But it definitely makes us all want to be on the team again, for sure.  That's the thing I take away is, like what Stacy said, it's not quite the same feel as the other one, but it's not the same event.  It's not the same type.  It's not the same style as Solheim Cup.  It's its own, its own event.
It does bring in these other players that come out to Solheim to watch and to be helpers on both teams.  It brings them and they get to represent their countries.  We're very lucky that we're from the UnitedStates and we do get to do this a lot more as professionals.
I know amateur‑wise there's a lot of team events that they play on, but it was just nice to be able to see that.  And the girls from Thailand, things like that, I think that that's pretty cool.  The thing I take away from it most is it's tough losing, but I think we learned a lot as a team, taking that into Germany.
KRAIG KANN:  Paula Creamer, Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr, thanks for being a part of the first ever International Crown.  We appreciate it.

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