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March 27, 2015

Alison Lee


Q.  Joined by Alison Lee, 6‑under today.  You had four straight birdies there right before you made the turn.  What was the key to your round?
ALISON LEE:  Yeah, all day I was hitting it pretty well, but I was missing a lot a few putts, but finally on that one hole where I started that four‑birdie streak, I made like a 30‑footer to get a birdie, and then it just kind of clicked after that.  So overall today I was hitting it really well.  I think I only missed one green or none at all, so I was striking the ball really well.  I did miss a couple putts here and there, like on the last hole, I missed like a four‑footer, but overall I played really solid, and I'm really happy with my round.

Q.  Last week you tied the course record in the third round.  Is this some of the best golf that you've played?
ALISON LEE:  Yeah, I'm just in tune with my swing right now.  I think I'm striking the ball really well.  That's been my key for the past couple weeks.  I haven't missed very much greens, and I've been getting the yardages right and hitting it pretty good and I feel really confident when I'm over the ball for my approach shot.

Q.  So everyone around here has been saying course conditions here have never been better.  Greens for you, have you been happen which them the first two rounds?
ALISON LEE:  Yeah, the course is really beautiful here.  I was the last tee time yesterday, so they did kind of get a little bumpy towards the end of the round, but other than that, it's been great.  It's been really nice.  The weather has been perfect.  It's been very different from the last few tournaments that we've had with delays and all that, but it's been great.

Q.  You played in the Junior World a few times?
ALISON LEE:  Yeah, actually played eight, nine, 10, 11.

Q.  Did you ever win?
ALISON LEE:  Eight, nine, 10.

Q.  What happened in 11?
ALISON LEE:  I don't know, 11, I made the cut that year.  I was young.  I don't remember.  I really don't remember.

Q.  Was that a big time in your life, though?
ALISON LEE:  Yeah, for sure, obviously played Junior World, it was one of the biggest tournaments of that age for me when I was eight and competing with a lot of girls from across the world.  It was pretty cool, and it was a really fun experience and it really kind of showed me where my game was because before that I kind of just played a lot of small local tournaments, and then finally with Junior World obviously you play with girls from across the country, across the world.  I think that's where I met Lexi.  She played that year when I played when I was eight.
But yeah, it was‑‑ unfortunately I didn't get to play after because I didn't get an exemption into the next year even though I won three years in a row, and they made a new tournament, like an invitational for AJGA about the same week, so as I was getting older I started playing more AJGA.

Q.  Meghan was telling me a little bit about the whole college transition thing, and if you don't mind can you tell me‑‑ she was talking about you still going to school and all that.  Can you give me a brief summary of that?
ALISON LEE:  Yeah, obviously after I‑‑ I played Q‑school as an amateur, and I was still in school at the time, and the deal with my coach was if I got my full status then I would turn pro, and if I didn't get my full status, if I just got conditional or whatever I would stay an amateur and play a full season for school, so obviously I made it, I got my card, I turned pro right then and there, and the whole goal and whole plan all along was to just‑‑ I wanted to finish school, so no matter what happened I wanted to finish.  So I was living at school.  I stayed in my dorm for winter quarter from January to March.  I took an extra class; I took four classes instead of three so I could maybe get a couple extra credits when I could.  But it was really tough.  I only missed like two weeks of school, so it wasn't bad, but I'm going to take the spring quarter off because I'm not going to be at school‑‑

Q.  Because you're a slacker?
ALISON LEE:  Well, I don't know any professor that would be okay with their student not attending class.  I mean‑‑

Q.  You don't do a lot of online classes at UCLA?
ALISON LEE:  There's not very many online offered.  I was thinking about taking one or two classes online, but there was no point because it would still be full tuition, and I didn't think it was necessary.

Q.  So what was your load?  What was your class load?  What were you taking?
ALISON LEE:  I was taking English Composition III, Soc 101, Asian American 132, and what was my last class?

Q.  What are you majoring in?
ALISON LEE:  International development studies, but I need to apply this fall.  Wait, I was taking another class.  How could I forget right now?  Anyways, thankfully I didn't have class on Friday‑‑ oh, History 8B, which is like history of Latin America.  Tuesdays and Thursdays were my worst days because Tuesdays I had class starting at 9:00 until 10:45, then 11:00 to 12:15, then I would have a little gap to eat lunch.  Then I'd go from 1:00 to 1:50, then 2:00 to 2:50.  That was my Tuesdays, and it was just like‑‑ so yeah, taking four classes, it was a struggle, but it was a good experience.

Q.  And that was all the way up until March?
ALISON LEE:  January to March.

Q.  And so playing the Founders Cup, were you still studying at that point?
ALISON LEE:  Yeah, Founders Cup, it was actually my finals week, so I finished a couple finals before I came, but one of my finals, my professor wanted me to take it the same time as the whole class because he didn't want to have to deal with copyrighting, cheating, blah blah blah.  So I actually had it proctored.  Allie with the LPGA actually proctored it for me, so she got in touch with my professor and he sent her the test, and she had it ready for me when I was there at Founders, so I took it when I was there.  She sent it back, and I still haven't gotten my grades back yet, so I'm kind of scared.  I've been checking every day, but I haven't gotten my grades back yet.

Q.  Were you a good student in high school?
ALISON LEE:  Uh‑huh, yeah.  I always got‑‑ I wasn't like 4.5, but I always had above 3.5 GPA.  Then college, too, my GPA is like 3.3.  I'm at UCLA, so it's okay.

Q.  When you went into college, what was your mindset as far as how long I'm going to be here and what was‑‑
ALISON LEE:  Going into college?

Q.  Yeah, and what was your decision‑‑ how hard was your decision?
ALISON LEE:  Going into college, obviously I loved UCLA.  As soon as I visited for the first time I just fell in love with it and I loved the girls.  I made so many friends, and I wanted to graduate no matter what.  As soon as my freshman year ended, obviously people were saying, oh, she's going to turn pro blah blah blah, she's not going to finish school, and I denied all those rumors, but towards the middle of the summer as the summer progressed, I kind of thought about it, kind of thought about, oh, maybe I should try it out, maybe I should see‑‑ play Q‑school and see how I do.  So I told my coach, and eventually she was very supportive of it, and I was able to play.  I played in three college events during the time, so she allowed me to stay on the team, and then I played Q‑school, and then, yeah.

Q.  Does a round like today's kind of affirm why you're out here?
ALISON LEE:  Yeah, for sure.  I mean, before I played Q‑school I was really nervous.  I didn't know if I was making the right decision.  Obviously I played really well in college, but still, it's a different game out here, and I didn't know if I was ready for it.  I don't know how I would do out here, but obviously playing well and making cuts and playing rounds like this today really‑‑ it feels great.  It reassures everything I've been working towards and kind of shows me that I can compete with a lot of the girls out here.

Q.  Are you having fun?  Obviously there's a lot of pressure coming out of Q‑school and all that, but are you able to kind of‑‑
ALISON LEE:  Yeah, for sure.  It's been fun, especially reconnecting with a lot of the girls out here because a lot of us played junior golf together and grew up together, and to finally be out here together as professional golfers and have this as our careers is pretty cool.  Obviously this is still my fourth week, so I still have a lot to learn and experience and all that stuff, but so far it's been fun.

Q.  How has the transition been?  I know you can balance your schoolwork and college but you have a lot more support in terms of coach and academics and stuff like that, so here you're on your own.  How has that been so far?
ALISON LEE:  I think the transition has been a lot easier because I've been staying in school, because if I just quit school, I would just be like, boom, oh, my gosh, but thankfully I have school to kind of‑‑ I have to keep my mind off of what's going on out here, especially like the very first tournament.  I wasn't thinking too much about what's going on on the course, I was thinking about school and stuff, so it was a nice kind of escape to kind of calm myself and kind of have something else to think about.  And obviously LPGA does a great job like having the pod system and all that stuff.  Whenever we have questions to ask, someone is always there to help out.  You're not alone out here.

Q.  Who is your‑‑ who are your‑‑
ALISON LEE:  Meghan and Christina Kim.

Q.  Was it weird being in a dorm thinking in a few weeks I'm going to be out on the LPGA Tour?
ALISON LEE:  It wasn't for me.  I know other people were like, what?  You're in your dorm?  What are you doing?  For me it was like, well, this is my life right now, but it was kind of sad because I moved out of my dorm the week before Founders, so I moved everything out and I said bye to all my roommates and went back home.

Q.  Were you crying?
ALISON LEE:  No, I wasn't crying, no.  Should I have?  I mean, no, I didn't cry.  But it was sad, but I know‑‑

Q.  It would make a better story if you were crying.
ALISON LEE:  That would make me like a wimp.  It was tough to leave.  But for sure I'm probably going to go back and visit on my off weeks.  I have friends there.

Q.  Where did you grow up?
ALISON LEE:  Valencia.

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