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March 26, 2015

Lexi Thompson


Q.¬† All right.¬† We're here with Lexi Thompson, just shot 4‑under, 68 here at the first round of the Kia Classic.¬† Lexi, one shot off the lead heading into tomorrow.¬† How do you feel about your position right now?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Oh, I feel really good about it.  You know, it was overall a very steady day.  I hit it pretty well, hit a lot of good putts, just went over the edges, but I had a nice eagle in there on no. 7 and then birdied 8.  You know, it was a good finish for me, so hopefully it'll continue into tomorrow.

Q.  You gotta be excited about the eagle.  Take us through that.  What happened there?
LEXI THOMPSON:¬† I had 98 yards to the pin, downhill, a little downwind, and I landed my 55‑degree about 95, and it one bounced, past, went back and actually stayed on the lip for a little bit and then fell.¬† So pretty awesome feeling.

Q.  Last year here you had such an awesome finish, took that momentum into an n a where you won.  How big it this week for you just to mentally get back in the swing of things and moving into next week?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, it is a very big week.  I mean the Kia Classic is such an amazing tournament.  We get a lot of people out here to follow us, and the course is amazing shape this year, probably the best I've ever seen it.  So it's definitely a good tuneup going into the ANA Inspiration next week, so hopefully finish strong here and then go into next week feeling good.

Q.  Lexi, when a group is going as low as the three of you, especially the last three holes, it kind of keeps you, like you realize you gotta keep up with your girls, not only just the field?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, definitely.  It's always nice to have a group that's playing really well, making birdies here and there, because people don't realize it, but you do really do feed off each other, and you know, just cheering each other on, saying good shot here and there, and it was a great group with Michelle and Paula.  We played great, and all pretty good friends out there.

Q.  Do you look forward to those types of groups, Lexi?  Obviously they do it for a reason, to be like a marquis group.  Do you enjoy that setting with them?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, I really do.  I enjoy playing with nice players in general, but good players.  I mean everybody out here are top in the world players out here, but to play with Paula and Michelle, both very strong players and nice to play with, very polite, so I look forward to it.  We get a good crowd out there, always cheering us on, which is nice.

Q.  What do you feel like the aftermath of winning last year in the desert was?  How did it change your mindset and your season do you feel like, now looking back on it?
LEXI THOMPSON:  It was a big confidence boost.  Working in my off season, going into last year, that was my No. 1 goal, to win a major, and I've always seen myself jumping into Poppy's Pond and winning that tournament, but that was my No. 1 goal going into the year, so to accomplish that, for my athlete to see hard work pay off, that was the best feeling.  Really, it didn't change my life.  A lot more media attention.  That's about it, but still the same person, it gave me confidence.

Q.  How do you think you reacted golf wise?  Do you feel like you had the rest of the year that you wanted to have, sort of expected?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, I had a lot of good tournaments after that.  I had some good finishes.  Towards the end of the year I was working through some little wrist pain, so I'm not going to blame it on that, but it's just a bit of a struggle.  I got tired towards the end of the year.  It's a lot of golf, but it is golf.  It's up and down.

Q.  You got that major last year, but there's a lot of attention on the big three and everything this year.  Where do you see yourself right now among the depth of the LPGA and all that, among the top players?  Where do you see yourself?
LEXI THOMPSON:¬† You know, overall I don't really like to compare myself to a lot of other players.¬† I'm just doing my thing, practicing as hard as I can, being in the best physical shape I can be and going to every tournament wanting to win.¬† You're not going to win every week out here.¬† I mean it's tough.¬† You have the best players in the world.¬† You have to have your A‑plus game, so I'm just coming out here trying to do my best, and you have to have the mindset that you are the best.¬† That's all golf is about.

Q.  Did you work on anything specific in the off season?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I would say I mainly worked a lot on short game.  I chipped and putted for at least two to three hours a day, just mainly trying to improve that to where I didn't put so much pressure on my ball striking and knowing I have to hit greens.  That way, if I do miss greens, I can fall back on my short game.  So it's good to see the improvement, and I'm still working a lot even on my off weeks, I'm practicing a lot on short game.

Q.  Do you feel like you've seen improvement this year already?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah.  I definitely have seen improvement.  I changed a lot.  I changed putters, I changed grips, and I change the way I grip it.  So I definitely made a few changes, but you know, I'm feeling good.  It's all about confidence and feeling comfortable over the shot or putt.

Q.  Are you still working with the Stocktons on the short game and putting?

Q.  Who are you working with now?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I'm actually just doing my own thing right now.  I'm just trying to take the technical stuff out of it and just trying to feel my way around the game, because overall, I mean I know my golf swing, and my dad really knows my golf swing, so I just like to feel my way around the golf course.

Q.  How are you gripping the putter now?  I haven't seen on you you're gripping it?
LEXI THOMPSON:¬† Well, I went to cross‑hand for a few months, and I'm actually back to conventional now, what I used to be, but left‑hand low actually helps me feeling more solid with my hands, so I can go back to conventional.¬† So it's more of like a training aid.

Q.  When did you change putters, and what model?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I changed in Loreno last year.  Don't know what model it is.  It's Odyssey.  It's The Tank.  So it's a lot more weight, and I have a wind big grip on the putter.

Q.  When did you color your hair?  Most important question.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Three months ago.

Q.  So before what tournament?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Before what tournament.
THE MODERATOR:  You say a few months.  I think it was in the off season.
THE WITNESS:  Yeah.  It was before the off season.
THE MODERATOR:  I think it was a debut.

Q.  Do you get people not recognizing you now a little bit?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Oh, yeah, I get so many people coming up to me, they're like I didn't even recognize you without your blonde hair.

Q.  Why did you change?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I've been thinking about it for a while now.  My natural hair color is like my eyebrows, so it's like a darker brown.  So easier to maintain.  You know, it's just hair.  I can go back to blonde.  You know, you never know.
THE MODERATOR:  She's a girl.  She's going to switch it up anyway.
THE WITNESS:  Yeah, you may see me in San Fran, blonde again.  Who knows.

Q.  What did you do in the off weeks?  I know you had a couple weeks off since Singapore.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Before this.

Q.  Yeah?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, on the way back from Singapore I had ANA Inspiration Media Day.  And then I actually had to go to San Fran for a practice round there, because I'm not going to be there until Wednesday at midnight because I have a big commitment at the PGA TOUR event.  And then went home.  I trained a lot and got ready.  I had a few media things here and there to deal with.  Just hung out, went to the beach a few times and had some fun.

Q.  What's the deal now coming into this year?  You've got a lot of experience out here now.  Is it a different feeling and mindset going into a newer season for you than maybe in the past?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, every year feels different.  The experience helps.  Every tournament I tee it up in it's a learning experience, and getting to know the golf course is better and better.  So you feel more comfortable out here.  And you know, it's weird to say that I'm only 20 years old and this is, I don't even know, like my fifth year out here.  Like I turned pro when I was 15.  So it's an amazing tour and you get to play the best golf courses in the world.

Q.  What was your best round out here before today?
LEXI THOMPSON:  On this course?

Q.  Yeah.
LEXI THOMPSON:  I don't know.
THE MODERATOR:  We'd have to look that up.
THE WITNESS:  Probably last year or something.

Q.  Do you feel like this is as good as you've played on the golf course do you think?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Like at this tournament you're saying?

Q.  Yeah, at this tournament?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I would say so, just the way I struck it today.  It was a very steady round, just ball striking wise.  You know, like I said, I missed a few putts here and there, but they were around the hole.  So it was definitely a very steady round, very happy about it.

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