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WEGMANS LPGA CHAMPIONSHIP


August 12, 2014


Mo Martin

Lexi Thompson


PITTSFORD, NEW YORK

KRAIG KANN:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Welcome to the media center here at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.  Great to be joined by two of the Major Champions this year on the LPGA tour.
Full disclosure.  We expected to have Michelle Wie here as well and make this three Americans and three Major winners, but we do have these two and quite a year for both of you.  Great to have Lexi Thompson and Mo Martin as well.
Let's get some thoughts, before we dive into the specifics of your Major wins and where you are, looking forward to potentially winning the big award at the end of the year for Major performance.
Thoughts on this golf course.  I'll start with you, Lexi.  First impression and what you thought as you played it.
LEXI THOMPSON:  I got to play it for the first time yesterday.  It's in perfect shape for us.  It's a great layout.  I got to hit driver pretty much on every hole.
I don't lay out much, but it's a great layout overall.  I think it will be really great for spectators to watch.  Hopefully, we'll get a lot of people out here.
KRAIG KANN:  Did you immediately think advantage Lexi Thompson?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, hitting driver on every hole thing I liked, but I think it's just for anybody that hits it pretty straight.  I'm sure they'll let the rough grow up even deeper throughout the week.
So just keep it straight.  That's usually what a Major Championship implies.
KRAIG KANN:  How about you, Mo?  What are your thoughts on the golf course?
MO MARTIN:  I have actually only seen the front nine.  I sprained my thumb last week.  So haven't been hitting many golf balls.  I actually walked the front nine yesterday, hit a few chips and putts.
I thought very similar things.  It's in superb condition, and the layout looks fantastic.  So I haven't seen the back side, but I'm really looking forward to it.  It's beautiful.
KRAIG KANN:¬† So the immediate follow‑up is how's your thumb?
MO MARTIN:  It's getting better.  It's in the process of healing right nowKRAIG KANN:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Welcome to the media center here at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.  Great to be joined by two of the Major Champions this year on the LPGA tour.
Full disclosure.  We expected to have Michelle Wie here as well and make this three Americans and three Major winners, but we do have these two and quite a year for both of you.  Great to have Lexi Thompson and Mo Martin as well.
Let's get some thoughts, before we dive into the specifics of your Major wins and where you are, looking forward to potentially winning the big award at the end of the year for Major performance.
Thoughts on this golf course.  I'll start with you, Lexi.  First impression and what you thought as you played it.
LEXI THOMPSON:  I got to play it for the first time yesterday.  It's in perfect shape for us.  It's a great layout.  I got to hit driver pretty much on every hole.
I don't lay out much, but it's a great layout overall.  I think it will be really great for spectators to watch.  Hopefully, we'll get a lot of people out here.
KRAIG KANN:  Did you immediately think advantage Lexi Thompson?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, hitting driver on every hole thing I liked, but I think it's just for anybody that hits it pretty straight.  I'm sure they'll let the rough grow up even deeper throughout the week.
So just keep it straight.  That's usually what a Major Championship implies.
KRAIG KANN:  How about you, Mo?  What are your thoughts on the golf course?
MO MARTIN:  I have actually only seen the front nine.  I sprained my thumb last week.  So haven't been hitting many golf balls.  I actually walked the front nine yesterday, hit a few chips and putts.
I thought very similar things.  It's in superb condition, and the layout looks fantastic.  So I haven't seen the back side, but I'm really looking forward to it.  It's beautiful.
KRAIG KANN:¬† So the immediate follow‑up is how's your thumb?
MO MARTIN:  It's getting better.  It's in the process of healing right now.  So I've seen some improvement just in the last few days.  It's looking hopeful.
KRAIG KANN:  Treatment, what have you been doing?  Can you hit shots out of this rough without pain?
MO MARTIN:  No, I haven't hit any shot without pain.  So I think I'm just going to have to deal with that for a little bit.
It's been X‑Rayed so bone structure is healthy.¬† That's very positive.¬† Structurally, nothing serious.¬† Ligament is just we've got some damage there.¬† Just heat, ice, more ice, and rest when I can.
KRAIG KANN:  One more from me to each of you.  1999, the last time the first three Majors in the LPGA were won by American players.  It's been since 1992 that all Americans won all of the Majors.
So far it's been a great year for the U.S. of A.  Specific thoughts on your Major Championship and your year thus far, Lexi?
LEXI THOMPSON:  My thoughts on my year?
KRAIG KANN:  Yours, only yours.
LEXI THOMPSON:  I think it's gone pretty well so far.  Obviously, Kraft Nabisco win made a huge change in my confidence level.
That was just an amazing week overall.
I was very relaxed and had a lot of fun that week.  I always imagined myself jumping into Poppie's Pond, and that was just a dream come true to have my family there jumping in with me.
It's been a great year.  I've just been trying to take the positives out of every tournament and keep on working to improve on my game because it's always an ongoing process out here.
KRAIG KANN:  I would like to know specifically from you what it felt like, not when it happened, but in the weeks since, because I know it was a dream come true that day.  Your speech was remarkable.  How you gathered yourself and were so composed was, frankly, amazing, but what's it been like since for you?
MO MARTIN:  It's been a whirlwind.  Things have changed.  For one, I'm doing press conferences.  That wasn't happening before.  So I'm adjusting my time really, a lot more time commitment.  So interviews.  The first two weeks we had off after Toledo, I was doing multiple interviews a day.  So that was great exposure for me.
It's just really trying to get my time and my preparation like it was before, but I've been able to do some fun things like put a roof on my grandpa's ranch and threw out the first pitch at the Dodgers game.¬† So I'm adjusting to post‑Major life.
KRAIG KANN:  It's been fun to watch you handle things.

Q.  How did you injure the thumb?
MO MARTIN:  I'm not quite sure.  You can get a strain from overuse, and I'm pretty sure that's what it was.  Just in thinking back, the ground is firm at the British, and it started hurting in Toledo on Sunday the last day.  I remember hitting a few shots and going ouch.
I took about four or five days off after that, and then when I came back, it was actually quite painful.  So it didn't swing a lot, and it didn't really improve going into last week.  I did what I could, but even going into Thursday to Friday, it was getting worse for me.  So I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing any more permanent damage.
It's a ligament issue.  I'm not quite sure how it happened.  It's just overuse.

Q.  You have such a supportive family and so many close friends with the Go Mo buttons.  Did you have a party of any sort at any point back at the ranch?
MO MARTIN:¬† When I landed at LAX, I kind of thought my mom had something up her sleeve.¬† When I came down the escalator‑‑ I don't know how many people have been to LAX.¬† I came down to baggage claim, and I had five, six of my friends.¬† They all made signs.
My mom was up until 3:00 in the morning making little Go Mo signs.  They started screaming, and I was really embarrassed.  I was like shh.  They made a big stink out of it, and we had a couple of nice dinners.
But, no, nothing out of the ordinary, but that's perfect for us.

Q.  When have you played like a full round?  When's the last time you played a full round of golf with the thumb?
MO MARTIN:  Last Thursday in Michigan.  That was the last full round.  I started warming up on Friday, and it was worse than it was.  So then I took the next four days off hitting, and my coach, Ian Triggs, is here this week.
I hit some balls today.  I hit for probably 15, 20 minutes.  It still hurts, but I see some improvement.

Q.¬† You mentioned in your bio that your dad was a major influence.¬† Is there something there that you can share with us?¬† What‑‑ how does he influence you?
MO MARTIN:¬† Well, we couldn't afford lessons when I first started, and he really wanted‑‑ he knew what a beautiful game golf is and that I could play it until I stop walking.¬† Because we couldn't afford it, he picked up Hogan's Five Lessons and taught us from that book.¬† He ripped the pages out, and they were all over the walls.
So I mean, that's‑‑ he started‑‑ he gave me a very solid foundation and really started me in this game.

Q.¬† What would it mean if you guys did‑‑ if Americans did sweep the Majors?¬† What would you think if an American wins the fifth and last Major and you do sweep for the first time since '92?
KRAIG KANN:  Start with you, Lexi, on that.
LEXI THOMPSON:  That would be huge.  I mean, that would be great for women's golf in general, but I think we're all just trying not to really think about that going into the week, putting extra pressure on ourselves.
We're just going to go out there and try our best like we do every week out here and see what the outcome is.
MO MARTIN:  I think it's really fun for America to watch, and I'm very proud to be American.  I think the greatest thing about this tour is the diversity.  So I think that adds so much to it.

Q.  Lexi, can you talk about this course compared to Locust Hill, where you guys were for so long.  What are the most important aspects when you're coming onto a new course as far as getting used to it in a short amount of time?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Being the first year for it, it's everybody's first look.  So there's not really any advantage for anybody.
I think Locust Hill was a little bit tighter, and the rough was probably a good amount thicker, but we did get some rain every time in the beginning of that week.  So it grew up pretty flush, and it was hard to get out.
It's kind of like the same layout, maybe just a little wider and not as tree lined.  But it is an amazing layout and really good for a Major Championship.
MO MARTIN:  I've only seen the front nine, but I would agree, again, with Lexi.  It is wider off the tee box, and it's set up longer.  From what I hear, it's close to 6,800.  So that's definitely longer than we played at Locust Hill.
KRAIG KANN:  Back to each of you and your personal journey to that first Major Championship.  For each of you, it's a completely different story.
A lot happened for you and has happened for you at a very young age.  It's taken you a little bit longer.  I think both stories are remarkable.
Could you share a little personal thoughts about your own journey and quest to be where you are right now on the LPGA.
Start with you, Lexi, because a lot happened at a young age and was public in that way.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, I started playing when I was 5.  I grew up on a golf course, two older brothers that play.  Just the game just grew on me.  I grew up watching my brothers play and always competing against them and trying to beat them.
I always knew this was what I wanted to do.  Once I made a decision to play golf at like age 10 or 11 and take out other sports, I knew I wanted to do this.
I did online schooling.  I turned pro at 15.  I wanted to follow my dreams and be out on the LPGA.  I've set a lot of goals on the way, but it's always just trying to improve on my game, and I think that's always a process.
But it's been quite a journey.  There's been ups and downs, but the ups are just so much better because you go through those struggles, and it just makes the wins or just the successes along the way so much better.

Q.  Did you feel the enormity of a Major Championship compared to the other victories you've had?  Was that difficult for you to adjust to or something you prepared for mentally?
LEXI THOMPSON:  You mean getting that win?
KRAIG KANN:  Getting that Major victory and how perhaps that's changed everything about your existence out here.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, I mean, I don't think of myself any differently.  I just get announced differently on the 1st tee as a Major champion, which is nice.
I don't‑‑ I guess I have a lot more fans, getting that win, but I'm doing what I love, and I'm going into every week just trying my best.
Getting that win under my belt has helped me out so much with my confidence, just relaxing me for the other events after that.  I'm a little bit more relaxed on the 1st tee and just knowing I can pull the shots under that kind of pressure helped me out.
KRAIG KANN:¬† When it comes to confidence, Mo, I don't think we could say anything but it's probably soared, 99th in the world up to 26th.¬† It's not like, if you looked at your resume, the top tens are flowing in by the week, and then this happens.¬† What's it really been like?¬† How much self‑conversation have you had about it all?
MO MARTIN:  I think for me it's just a huge experience that I can draw upon going into the future and going forward.  I mean, it's huge, and it was a big success.
To finish the way I did and to play very strongly on a difficult Sunday golf course and conditions, and then I played very well the week after.  So just really drawing upon those experiences, that's really what I'm taking forward.

Q.  Lexi, following up, being in the final group on Sunday at Kraft and then being in that playoff at the International Crown, those are really high pressure situations.  What specifically do you kind of learn in those situations?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I've gone through a few tournaments where Sundays haven't gone so well for me, being on the top of the leaderboard, and I think those experiences helped me out so much.  I got fast at those days, and I learned so much, just slowing everything down.
Going into Kraft Nabisco week that Sunday, playing with Michelle, overall I just learned so much going into that Sunday, I knew what I needed to change.  How I need to slow down by routine or just walking to my next shots helped me out so much.
That Sunday at Kraft definitely helped me for the playoff at International Crown.  I wasn't expecting to be in that playoff, but I was warmed up ready to go, and I was pretty fired up about it.

Q.¬† The follow‑up is the International Crown, in that playoff, you hit two really good shots.¬† The second was really close to being a brilliant shot and yet you got a bad break on it.¬† I wondered, how long did it take you to kind of get over how that ended?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, that shot was probably the best 4 iron I've ever hit in my life.  It was just kind of that in between yardage where you're about two yards off, but I couldn't hit the next club up or it would have been long, and that's dead to that pin.
So I hit exactly the shot I wanted to.  I ended up getting in a divot once I got up there.  I thought a putt was the best idea.
But it happens.  It was tough to get through.  I definitely was pretty emotional on that green, but I don't know who wouldn't be playing for their country and being part of a team like that.  It was such a huge honor to play for my country, put red, white, and blue on, and represent.

Q.  What are the biggest challenges playing a Major Championship on a course that you may have only played twice?  How much does experience help?  Or is it overrated?  How much is it comfortable with the sight lines, or is it overrated?  What are the biggest challenges playing a Major Championship on a course you don't know?
LEXI THOMPSON:¬† I would say the biggest challenge is not knowing the exact spots to hit it sometimes.¬† Only getting two looks at the golf course, sometimes you just‑‑ you don't learn too much like you would if you had a week to practice on that golf course.
But it's the same for everybody.  It's the first year for the event here at Monroe Golf Club.  Everybody is going into it with the same amount of experience.  We're just going to try to do our best out there and learn as each shot goes.
MO MARTIN:  There's just a certain amount of subtleties that you have to learn on the go.  Also, we had some rain today, but how does the course drain?  Does it stay soft?  Does it stay soft for long?  Also, the predominant winds.  Do the winds get tricky?
Little stuff like that we all don't know yet.  So we're all just going to be learning this week, and that's going to be the challenge.

Q.  Forgetting trying to sweep Majors, the Americans trying to sweep Majors, for just a second, and just the overall growth of the game and the role that the success of American golfers like yourself and Stacy Lewis and Michelle have had this season in particular.  Can you kind of sense what role that's having on the growth of the game in this country right now?
MO MARTIN:  I believe it would be more of momentum, just here in America and for golf here and for the younger players.
I just know for me personally, one of the greatest joys I get is having an influence in people's lives and learning stories.  In Toledo I had these two little girls that started following me, and I talked to their parents, and they said, you know, it's been so special to meet you and to hear your story and to see you because our little girls are petite in stature.  People tell them all the time, you can't play sports.
So I actually taught the older girl the word hogwash, and so I said, next time somebody tells you you're too small to do something, you message me, and I said, you know that that's hogwash.  She said, okay, okay.
So just to make those little influences and to be in a position to have a positive impact far beyond what we know, that's an honor that I know none of us take lightly.
LEXI THOMPSON:  I would definitely have to agree with Mo.  Even since I turned pro in 2010, the tour has gotten so much better just with the fan base, social media, and the amount of tournaments we've added to our schedule.  It's just been huge.  I mean, it's getting better and better as the years I've been out here.
Like Mo said, just to be an influence on little girls or boys out here.¬† Even older men and women say, I want to be like you when I grow up.¬† I mean, it's just‑‑ it's a great feeling to know that people look up to you and just enjoy watching you play.
I think that's why we love to be out here playing in front of our fans and do what we love.  That's why our Tour is amazing.
KRAIG KANN:¬† Mo, if I could ask a follow‑up on that.¬† You joked around a couple of minutes ago about the fact you're now doing press conferences.¬† The victory for you‑‑ you've always been one of the most popular players in women's golf and with the players out here, very well‑respected by everyone that covers the game and plays alongside you.¬† You're in a different rent district now.
So this opportunity for you seems like it's a little different.  Maybe it comes a little bit out of nowhere, not that you didn't think it could happen.  How do you take that?  And what do you expect or hope to gain from it and use that platform?
MO MARTIN:¬† I'm really adjusting to this new post‑Major status.¬† As Lexi said earlier, you get a different announcing on the tee box, and that's really fun.
But there are so many causes that are close to my heart, and I just ‑‑ going forward in the very near future, I'm going to have the monetary means to do something about it and to make even more of an impact.¬† So I'm going to have to sit down and seriously figure out where I want to put my energies and efforts.¬† It's really nice to have more of an opportunity to do that.

Q.  Is the phone ringing much more?  Are you having to spend more time away from the golf course thinking about these things?  Is it massively different?
MO MARTIN:¬† Maybe that's what happened to my thumb, the text messages I still have not returned to everybody and the e‑mails.¬† So apologies to the people I've not gotten back to.
No, I still have Facebook I haven't even opened because the icon says something incredible.  So I haven't even opened it.

Q.¬† If we had Michelle here, Mo, you'd be sandwiched between two 6‑foot players with power games.¬† Can you talk about just your journey, in terms of your game, of trying to tackle courses from a very different perspective?¬† Was there a point in your career where you were really worried about getting more distance or more power?¬† Or have you just always kind of thought you'll get there as the game that you came with?
MO MARTIN:¬† As a junior‑‑ I guess it's quite a coincidence now that I look back on it.¬† But Paul Runyan was based in Pasadena, and I was able to meet with him a couple of times.¬† He was a very small man, and he had an extremely successful career at a time when the long hitters were dominating, and he had some epic matches where he just used his strength to his advantage and played the golf course.
I think that's another beautiful part of the game.  For players like Lexi and Michelle and a couple other long players out here, there's some holes that they can overpower, and they can definitely take lines that I can't.  I just approach the golf course a little bit differently, and I capitalize on my accuracy and my short game.  It's an awesome game that you can play it so many different ways.

Q.  To Lexi, I'm sure you get asked this a lot.  But Lydia Ko and the success she's having at such a young age.  You're familiar with success as a teenager.  What do you make of what she's been able to do already?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I've gotten to play with Lydia quite a bit.  Three years ago, I played with her in Australia, and I knew she was going to be very successful once I was playing with her.  She's very consistent.
She has a great attitude on the golf course.  Even when she's playing bad, she has the same attitude.  I think that's a great quality in a player, not to get too upset and very, very low key.
I think she's going to be a very successful player in the future.  Obviously, what she's doing now, it's going to continue because she's a very hard worker and consistent game.
KRAIG KANN:  Two Majors left, including this one, the Rolex ANNIKA Major award hangs in the balance at year's end.  One of the stipulations of this award, per Annika, for sure, is you have to have won a Major.  That obviously puts you two in the mix.
What would it mean to have that award at the end of the year come Sunday at the Evian Championship?  We'll start with you.  I'm sure that wasn't even a thought at the beginning of the year.
MO MARTIN:  Still processing.  It's a very prestigious award, and I would be very honored to have that.  In the meantime, we've got a lot of golf yet, and every day we start back at zero.  So just focus on the days to come.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Same.  It would be an honor to have my name on that award or to receive that award.  I've always looked up to Annika.  She's been a huge role model to me.
Like Mo said, just take one tournament at a time, one shot at a time basically.  We're not really focusing on that.  We're trying to do our best, and we'll see how it ends up at the end of the year.
KRAIG KANN:  To that end, best of luck to each of you this week at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.  Congratulations on your many successes already.  Good luck.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




.  So I've seen some improvement just in the last few days.  It's looking hopeful.
KRAIG KANN:  Treatment, what have you been doing?  Can you hit shots out of this rough without pain?
MO MARTIN:  No, I haven't hit any shot without pain.  So I think I'm just going to have to deal with that for a little bit.
It's been X‑Rayed so bone structure is healthy.¬† That's very positive.¬† Structurally, nothing serious.¬† Ligament is just we've got some damage there.¬† Just heat, ice, more ice, and rest when I can.
KRAIG KANN:  One more from me to each of you.  1999, the last time the first three Majors in the LPGA were won by American players.  It's been since 1992 that all Americans won all of the Majors.
So far it's been a great year for the U.S. of A.  Specific thoughts on your Major Championship and your year thus far, Lexi?
LEXI THOMPSON:  My thoughts on my year?
KRAIG KANN:  Yours, only yours.
LEXI THOMPSON:  I think it's gone pretty well so far.  Obviously, Kraft Nabisco win made a huge change in my confidence level.
That was just an amazing week overall.
I was very relaxed and had a lot of fun that week.  I always imagined myself jumping into Poppie's Pond, and that was just a dream come true to have my family there jumping in with me.
It's been a great year.  I've just been trying to take the positives out of every tournament and keep on working to improve on my game because it's always an ongoing process out here.
KRAIG KANN:  I would like to know specifically from you what it felt like, not when it happened, but in the weeks since, because I know it was a dream come true that day.  Your speech was remarkable.  How you gathered yourself and were so composed was, frankly, amazing, but what's it been like since for you?
MO MARTIN:  It's been a whirlwind.  Things have changed.  For one, I'm doing press conferences.  That wasn't happening before.  So I'm adjusting my time really, a lot more time commitment.  So interviews.  The first two weeks we had off after Toledo, I was doing multiple interviews a day.  So that was great exposure for me.
It's just really trying to get my time and my preparation like it was before, but I've been able to do some fun things like put a roof on my grandpa's ranch and threw out the first pitch at the Dodgers game.¬† So I'm adjusting to post‑Major life.
KRAIG KANN:  It's been fun to watch you handle things.

Q.  How did you injure the thumb?
MO MARTIN:  I'm not quite sure.  You can get a strain from overuse, and I'm pretty sure that's what it was.  Just in thinking back, the ground is firm at the British, and it started hurting in Toledo on Sunday the last day.  I remember hitting a few shots and going ouch.
I took about four or five days off after that, and then when I came back, it was actually quite painful.  So it didn't swing a lot, and it didn't really improve going into last week.  I did what I could, but even going into Thursday to Friday, it was getting worse for me.  So I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing any more permanent damage.
It's a ligament issue.  I'm not quite sure how it happened.  It's just overuse.

Q.  You have such a supportive family and so many close friends with the Go Mo buttons.  Did you have a party of any sort at any point back at the ranch?
MO MARTIN:¬† When I landed at LAX, I kind of thought my mom had something up her sleeve.¬† When I came down the escalator‑‑ I don't know how many people have been to LAX.¬† I came down to baggage claim, and I had five, six of my friends.¬† They all made signs.
My mom was up until 3:00 in the morning making little Go Mo signs.  They started screaming, and I was really embarrassed.  I was like shh.  They made a big stink out of it, and we had a couple of nice dinners.
But, no, nothing out of the ordinary, but that's perfect for us.

Q.  When have you played like a full round?  When's the last time you played a full round of golf with the thumb?
MO MARTIN:  Last Thursday in Michigan.  That was the last full round.  I started warming up on Friday, and it was worse than it was.  So then I took the next four days off hitting, and my coach, Ian Triggs, is here this week.
I hit some balls today.  I hit for probably 15, 20 minutes.  It still hurts, but I see some improvement.

Q.¬† You mentioned in your bio that your dad was a major influence.¬† Is there something there that you can share with us?¬† What‑‑ how does he influence you?
MO MARTIN:¬† Well, we couldn't afford lessons when I first started, and he really wanted‑‑ he knew what a beautiful game golf is and that I could play it until I stop walking.¬† Because we couldn't afford it, he picked up Hogan's Five Lessons and taught us from that book.¬† He ripped the pages out, and they were all over the walls.
So I mean, that's‑‑ he started‑‑ he gave me a very solid foundation and really started me in this game.

Q.¬† What would it mean if you guys did‑‑ if Americans did sweep the Majors?¬† What would you think if an American wins the fifth and last Major and you do sweep for the first time since '92?
KRAIG KANN:  Start with you, Lexi, on that.
LEXI THOMPSON:  That would be huge.  I mean, that would be great for women's golf in general, but I think we're all just trying not to really think about that going into the week, putting extra pressure on ourselves.
We're just going to go out there and try our best like we do every week out here and see what the outcome is.
MO MARTIN:  I think it's really fun for America to watch, and I'm very proud to be American.  I think the greatest thing about this tour is the diversity.  So I think that adds so much to it.

Q.  Lexi, can you talk about this course compared to Locust Hill, where you guys were for so long.  What are the most important aspects when you're coming onto a new course as far as getting used to it in a short amount of time?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Being the first year for it, it's everybody's first look.  So there's not really any advantage for anybody.
I think Locust Hill was a little bit tighter, and the rough was probably a good amount thicker, but we did get some rain every time in the beginning of that week.  So it grew up pretty flush, and it was hard to get out.
It's kind of like the same layout, maybe just a little wider and not as tree lined.  But it is an amazing layout and really good for a Major Championship.
MO MARTIN:  I've only seen the front nine, but I would agree, again, with Lexi.  It is wider off the tee box, and it's set up longer.  From what I hear, it's close to 6,800.  So that's definitely longer than we played at Locust Hill.
KRAIG KANN:  Back to each of you and your personal journey to that first Major Championship.  For each of you, it's a completely different story.
A lot happened for you and has happened for you at a very young age.  It's taken you a little bit longer.  I think both stories are remarkable.
Could you share a little personal thoughts about your own journey and quest to be where you are right now on the LPGA.
Start with you, Lexi, because a lot happened at a young age and was public in that way.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, I started playing when I was 5.  I grew up on a golf course, two older brothers that play.  Just the game just grew on me.  I grew up watching my brothers play and always competing against them and trying to beat them.
I always knew this was what I wanted to do.  Once I made a decision to play golf at like age 10 or 11 and take out other sports, I knew I wanted to do this.
I did online schooling.  I turned pro at 15.  I wanted to follow my dreams and be out on the LPGA.  I've set a lot of goals on the way, but it's always just trying to improve on my game, and I think that's always a process.
But it's been quite a journey.  There's been ups and downs, but the ups are just so much better because you go through those struggles, and it just makes the wins or just the successes along the way so much better.

Q.  Did you feel the enormity of a Major Championship compared to the other victories you've had?  Was that difficult for you to adjust to or something you prepared for mentally?
LEXI THOMPSON:  You mean getting that win?
KRAIG KANN:  Getting that Major victory and how perhaps that's changed everything about your existence out here.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, I mean, I don't think of myself any differently.  I just get announced differently on the 1st tee as a Major champion, which is nice.
I don't‑‑ I guess I have a lot more fans, getting that win, but I'm doing what I love, and I'm going into every week just trying my best.
Getting that win under my belt has helped me out so much with my confidence, just relaxing me for the other events after that.  I'm a little bit more relaxed on the 1st tee and just knowing I can pull the shots under that kind of pressure helped me out.
KRAIG KANN:¬† When it comes to confidence, Mo, I don't think we could say anything but it's probably soared, 99th in the world up to 26th.¬† It's not like, if you looked at your resume, the top tens are flowing in by the week, and then this happens.¬† What's it really been like?¬† How much self‑conversation have you had about it all?
MO MARTIN:  I think for me it's just a huge experience that I can draw upon going into the future and going forward.  I mean, it's huge, and it was a big success.
To finish the way I did and to play very strongly on a difficult Sunday golf course and conditions, and then I played very well the week after.  So just really drawing upon those experiences, that's really what I'm taking forward.

Q.  Lexi, following up, being in the final group on Sunday at Kraft and then being in that playoff at the International Crown, those are really high pressure situations.  What specifically do you kind of learn in those situations?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I've gone through a few tournaments where Sundays haven't gone so well for me, being on the top of the leaderboard, and I think those experiences helped me out so much.  I got fast at those days, and I learned so much, just slowing everything down.
Going into Kraft Nabisco week that Sunday, playing with Michelle, overall I just learned so much going into that Sunday, I knew what I needed to change.  How I need to slow down by routine or just walking to my next shots helped me out so much.
That Sunday at Kraft definitely helped me for the playoff at International Crown.  I wasn't expecting to be in that playoff, but I was warmed up ready to go, and I was pretty fired up about it.

Q.¬† The follow‑up is the International Crown, in that playoff, you hit two really good shots.¬† The second was really close to being a brilliant shot and yet you got a bad break on it.¬† I wondered, how long did it take you to kind of get over how that ended?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, that shot was probably the best 4 iron I've ever hit in my life.  It was just kind of that in between yardage where you're about two yards off, but I couldn't hit the next club up or it would have been long, and that's dead to that pin.
So I hit exactly the shot I wanted to.  I ended up getting in a divot once I got up there.  I thought a putt was the best idea.
But it happens.  It was tough to get through.  I definitely was pretty emotional on that green, but I don't know who wouldn't be playing for their country and being part of a team like that.  It was such a huge honor to play for my country, put red, white, and blue on, and represent.

Q.  What are the biggest challenges playing a Major Championship on a course that you may have only played twice?  How much does experience help?  Or is it overrated?  How much is it comfortable with the sight lines, or is it overrated?  What are the biggest challenges playing a Major Championship on a course you don't know?
LEXI THOMPSON:¬† I would say the biggest challenge is not knowing the exact spots to hit it sometimes.¬† Only getting two looks at the golf course, sometimes you just‑‑ you don't learn too much like you would if you had a week to practice on that golf course.
But it's the same for everybody.  It's the first year for the event here at Monroe Golf Club.  Everybody is going into it with the same amount of experience.  We're just going to try to do our best out there and learn as each shot goes.
MO MARTIN:  There's just a certain amount of subtleties that you have to learn on the go.  Also, we had some rain today, but how does the course drain?  Does it stay soft?  Does it stay soft for long?  Also, the predominant winds.  Do the winds get tricky?
Little stuff like that we all don't know yet.  So we're all just going to be learning this week, and that's going to be the challenge.

Q.  Forgetting trying to sweep Majors, the Americans trying to sweep Majors, for just a second, and just the overall growth of the game and the role that the success of American golfers like yourself and Stacy Lewis and Michelle have had this season in particular.  Can you kind of sense what role that's having on the growth of the game in this country right now?
MO MARTIN:  I believe it would be more of momentum, just here in America and for golf here and for the younger players.
I just know for me personally, one of the greatest joys I get is having an influence in people's lives and learning stories.  In Toledo I had these two little girls that started following me, and I talked to their parents, and they said, you know, it's been so special to meet you and to hear your story and to see you because our little girls are petite in stature.  People tell them all the time, you can't play sports.
So I actually taught the older girl the word hogwash, and so I said, next time somebody tells you you're too small to do something, you message me, and I said, you know that that's hogwash.  She said, okay, okay.
So just to make those little influences and to be in a position to have a positive impact far beyond what we know, that's an honor that I know none of us take lightly.
LEXI THOMPSON:  I would definitely have to agree with Mo.  Even since I turned pro in 2010, the tour has gotten so much better just with the fan base, social media, and the amount of tournaments we've added to our schedule.  It's just been huge.  I mean, it's getting better and better as the years I've been out here.
Like Mo said, just to be an influence on little girls or boys out here.¬† Even older men and women say, I want to be like you when I grow up.¬† I mean, it's just‑‑ it's a great feeling to know that people look up to you and just enjoy watching you play.
I think that's why we love to be out here playing in front of our fans and do what we love.  That's why our Tour is amazing.
KRAIG KANN:¬† Mo, if I could ask a follow‑up on that.¬† You joked around a couple of minutes ago about the fact you're now doing press conferences.¬† The victory for you‑‑ you've always been one of the most popular players in women's golf and with the players out here, very well‑respected by everyone that covers the game and plays alongside you.¬† You're in a different rent district now.
So this opportunity for you seems like it's a little different.  Maybe it comes a little bit out of nowhere, not that you didn't think it could happen.  How do you take that?  And what do you expect or hope to gain from it and use that platform?
MO MARTIN:¬† I'm really adjusting to this new post‑Major status.¬† As Lexi said earlier, you get a different announcing on the tee box, and that's really fun.
But there are so many causes that are close to my heart, and I just ‑‑ going forward in the very near future, I'm going to have the monetary means to do something about it and to make even more of an impact.¬† So I'm going to have to sit down and seriously figure out where I want to put my energies and efforts.¬† It's really nice to have more of an opportunity to do that.

Q.  Is the phone ringing much more?  Are you having to spend more time away from the golf course thinking about these things?  Is it massively different?
MO MARTIN:¬† Maybe that's what happened to my thumb, the text messages I still have not returned to everybody and the e‑mails.¬† So apologies to the people I've not gotten back to.
No, I still have Facebook I haven't even opened because the icon says something incredible.  So I haven't even opened it.

Q.¬† If we had Michelle here, Mo, you'd be sandwiched between two 6‑foot players with power games.¬† Can you talk about just your journey, in terms of your game, of trying to tackle courses from a very different perspective?¬† Was there a point in your career where you were really worried about getting more distance or more power?¬† Or have you just always kind of thought you'll get there as the game that you came with?
MO MARTIN:¬† As a junior‑‑ I guess it's quite a coincidence now that I look back on it.¬† But Paul Runyan was based in Pasadena, and I was able to meet with him a couple of times.¬† He was a very small man, and he had an extremely successful career at a time when the long hitters were dominating, and he had some epic matches where he just used his strength to his advantage and played the golf course.
I think that's another beautiful part of the game.  For players like Lexi and Michelle and a couple other long players out here, there's some holes that they can overpower, and they can definitely take lines that I can't.  I just approach the golf course a little bit differently, and I capitalize on my accuracy and my short game.  It's an awesome game that you can play it so many different ways.

Q.  To Lexi, I'm sure you get asked this a lot.  But Lydia Ko and the success she's having at such a young age.  You're familiar with success as a teenager.  What do you make of what she's been able to do already?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I've gotten to play with Lydia quite a bit.  Three years ago, I played with her in Australia, and I knew she was going to be very successful once I was playing with her.  She's very consistent.
She has a great attitude on the golf course.  Even when she's playing bad, she has the same attitude.  I think that's a great quality in a player, not to get too upset and very, very low key.
I think she's going to be a very successful player in the future.  Obviously, what she's doing now, it's going to continue because she's a very hard worker and consistent game.
KRAIG KANN:  Two Majors left, including this one, the Rolex ANNIKA Major award hangs in the balance at year's end.  One of the stipulations of this award, per Annika, for sure, is you have to have won a Major.  That obviously puts you two in the mix.
What would it mean to have that award at the end of the year come Sunday at the Evian Championship?  We'll start with you.  I'm sure that wasn't even a thought at the beginning of the year.
MO MARTIN:  Still processing.  It's a very prestigious award, and I would be very honored to have that.  In the meantime, we've got a lot of golf yet, and every day we start back at zero.  So just focus on the days to come.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Same.  It would be an honor to have my name on that award or to receive that award.  I've always looked up to Annika.  She's been a huge role model to me.
Like Mo said, just take one tournament at a time, one shot at a time basically.  We're not really focusing on that.  We're trying to do our best, and we'll see how it ends up at the end of the year.
KRAIG KANN:  To that end, best of luck to each of you this week at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.  Congratulations on your many successes already.  Good luck.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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