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June 10, 2015

Stacy Lewis


THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, welcome to the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. It's a great pleasure to have in here somebody this afternoon, somebody who wears KPMG on her hat and also a recognizable figure in women's golf, the Rolex Rankings current No. 3 in the world with 12 wins and two major championships. We want to say hello to Stacy Lewis. Thanks for being here. How you doing? Your thoughts on the golf course, I know you were here earlier for Media Day but now this is the real deal.

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it's an exciting week. It's exciting to be here and see the setup and see the golf course kind of under tournament conditions. I love the golf course. I think it's going to be a great test for us. You know, it's a bit of a crazy week for me so I haven't quite got to enjoy it the way I've wanted to because it's been so busy. It is what it is. It's a good and a bad thing I guess.

THE MODERATOR: Let's talk about that a little bit. You have really been a part of this from day one. You knew about it as it was happening and you were there when it was announced and launched in New York City. Have you taken part in some of the planning, etc., of everything? Has that been enjoyable up until this point?

STACY LEWIS: I've enjoyed the behind the scenes and kind of getting in John Veihmeyer's ear a little bit and saying, you know, we could take what we are doing here at our events and turning this into a really big and cool tournament. It was cool for me to kind of pass some ideas around, throw ideas at him. They are coming to me, what makes the U.S. Open great, what makes Arkansas so great that everybody loves it. They have tried to take a little bit from every of the best tournaments we have and put it into this one and I think they have done a pretty good job for the first year.

THE MODERATOR: One more from me about your game coming in this week. How do you feel on that side of it?

STACY LEWIS: The game's not exactly where I would like it. I haven't played very well the last couple weeks. It's not the form I wanted coming into this week. But I've got -- with missing the cut last week, I got some extra days of work in with my coach. Our big thing was, let's get the swing going in the right direction, whether it's for this week or whether I play well this week I said it not really the most important thing. I said, right now, I just need some direction and I need to get my golf swing going down the right path.

Q. When John asked you those things, what is the U.S. Open like and what is Arkansas like, what were your answers?
STACY LEWIS: A lot of them were just from the player experience. You've noticed a lot of girls saying, wow, there's water on every tee, there's snacks out there. But it's really just the little things behind the scenes that the public doesn't even see. Us getting from Point A to Point B quickly, getting around the grounds pretty easy. Having a great golf course; I said that was the most upon thing that we got on a venue we've typically never played on before, and that's what we have done this year, and that's what we are going to do with the tournament. The three things were, a big course, a big purse, and network TV, and they killed it with all three of them. And then from there, it was just little things kind of behind the scenes but having a big media center, having good access for the people who watch. I said it has to feel like a big tournament. You walk up 18 and it feels like a big tournament and that was what we were looking for.

Q. What player feedback have you gotten or have you heard anything?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I've heard that everybody says the golf course is hard; that it's long. But I think the biggest thing is I haven't heard anything negative. We always try -- as golfers, I think we always kind of nitpick things a little bit. The biggest thing is I haven't heard any negative. So I think the beach party we had last night was unbelievable. This tournament is just going to set standards. Saw the crew from ana was out taking pictures and writing down notes yesterday for their tournament. So I think it's going to be one of those tournaments that sets the bar.

THE MODERATOR: StacyLewisConsultingLLC.com. Do you like the consulting role?

STACY LEWIS: That's fine. You have to do something after golf, right.

THE MODERATOR: You're actually speaking on a panel this afternoon with Annika, so you are a bigger part of this than just the golf, being in a leadership role and being one of the faces of women's golf. How do you embrace that?

STACY LEWIS: I've learned to embrace it over the last year. It's been something that has not really been natural for me. It started with -- I went and watched Phil do one of his events, just his daily events with KPMG and I kind of thought to myself, I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I can have a Stacy Lewis Invitational and host 30 women, like I don't know if I can do this. It was kind of something when you're thrown into the fire, you learn how to do it. I've just been trying to learn on the fly the last couple years.

THE MODERATOR: You're doing pretty well.

Q. Back to your game. What has been off in your swing and what have you been trying to refine as this week arrives?
STACY LEWIS: You look at early in the year, my swing, my hands get high at the top. So there's a level that once it kind of gets too high, that's where you're like, all right, we need to bring it back down. I've played early in the year; you finish second at a major, you have a bunch of Top 10s. My swing coach will call me and say, "How did the swing feel?" I say, "It's close. It's okay." But it's not bad enough that you go and you change everything. Finally these last two weeks, it just got to that point where it's just not where it needs to be. So I want to play great golf. I don't want to play, meh, feels all right golf. That's what this week and these last few days have been for many he.

Q. Were the misses two ways, one particular kind of miss?
STACY LEWIS: It was a little bit of everything. It was more just getting over the ball and not knowing how solid it was going to go, how far it was going to, I had it long and left, short and right, I had a whole high right, a whole high left. It was a bit all over the place and I like to hit shots. If I can get up there and hit a draw, hit a fade and when I can't hit those shots, that's when I know we need to get back to work.

Q. You were talking about creating that big event feel. Is that something that you thought had been missing out here or was it maybe something that no one had really ever asked players opinions on how to sort of create this atmosphere before?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I think seeing the U.S. Open last summer at Pinehurst and seeing what the guys get at a major and then probably what every tournament is like for them, it was kind of like, why don't we have this. We get it at the U.S. Open every year but that's the only time we really get it. You know, that's something that the LPGA Championship has been lacking the last few years is that big major feel. You know, for our tour, we get the most media, we get the most eyeballs five weeks out of the year. So those five weeks need to be our biggest and our best. I know that's what Kraig and his team, they all talk about, when we are on network TV, it needs to look like a big event. So that's why we need it to be the way it is this week.

Q. I know you work on technical things with the swing but the way the Tour is right now with the three of you at the top of the rankings, it's like there's constant pressure. Every week it seems we're figuring out a No. 1 scenario and it's like one off-week, everything can change; one big week, everything can change. How do you deal with the mental pressure of those expectations?
STACY LEWIS: I don't know. I feel like I've been up near the top of the rankings now for a little while. Truthfully I don't really pay much attention to it. I found out yesterday that if I won this week and there are some scenarios that I could get back to No. 1. In my head I was like, oh, two bad weeks and I can't even get to No. 1 anymore. That's the extremes there of thinking that one bad week is going to kill you and it's not. I think it's more dealing with that. I think the easy part is playing good golf. I think the hard part is when you have a bad week and you're trying to get out of a rut or something like that.

Q. How did you decide what college you wanted to attend?
STACY LEWIS: I went on three visits. I visited Kansas State, Louisville and Arkansas. I went on the other two visits first and Arkansas was my last one. When I went there, it just felt like the right place for me. It felt like I was going home to a small hometown where I was going to be taken care of. It just felt right more than anything.

Q. And the second question is, how much of that decision is based on golf?
STACY LEWIS: Well, it was all based on golf I guess. I had scholarship offers from those three. I wasn't recruited by the big schools or anything but I felt like at those schools, I could go and I would play on the top five and be one of their best players. That's why I chose to even look at those schools because I wanted to go where I could play, not just be on the team.

THE MODERATOR: I'm going to ask a follow-up to that. Inspire greatness is being talked about a lot this week as part of this event and you have these winners of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship here and a junior reporter, and you said you were not recruited by any of the biggies, so to speak. You ended up in a pretty darned great school and had a fantastic career. What would your message be to inspire young players as we try to grow the game?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I wasn't the best player on my high school team. I was definitely a late bloomer. I wasn't the best junior player by any means growing up. I had a lot of schools overlook me. A lot of Texas schools were kind of kicking themselves asking how I got out of the state of Texas. Just to be patient with it. You don't have to be the best at seven or eight or 12 or whatever. Everybody's going to play their best golf at a different age. So just to be patient with it.

Q. The U.S. Open is always the most difficult course setup. Have you noticed any differences here with the PGA of America involved with the setup of this venue?
STACY LEWIS: Yes, this set much is much more similar to a USGA setup I would say, especially the length of some of the par 4s, that's the big difference of what you're seeing. But it's also got some good holes where you can make birdies and things like that. So it's not the brutal test of a U.S. Open with the long rough and everything. So if you get going on this golf course, you can score well. But there's a couple holes you just hit it to the middle of the greens and move on.

Q. This is really a difficult second-shot golf course, wouldn't you say?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think hitting it to the right places on the greens, having good speed on the greens is really I think what it's going to come down to. You know that's going to eliminate the 3-putts but then also making some putts, you've got to have good speed because of the severity of the slopes.

Q. What do you anticipate the scores this week and what do you think will be integral in determining what that score will be?
STACY LEWIS: I'm never good with the whole number thing, picking a number. But I would say it's going to be single digits under par. I think you'll see some good scores, though. I think you'll see some 5-, 6-, maybe even a 7-under, just having the five par 5s, and then having some shorter irons into holes. If you can make -- there's a couple holes you have to make par on and if you can do that, you can shoot a good score. But then you can make some big numbers with one swing, too. You'll see a wide range of scores but I think at the end of the week, it won't be too far under par.

Q. Now we're starting to see the women got on the classic venues, but in the past, we haven't seen that. Has there been a feeling among women that there's a slight in that; that maybe women perceived as not being worthy of those classic venues, and so does it make going to a Pinehurst like that and putting on a show more satisfying?
STACY LEWIS: I don't think we feel slighted. I just don't know if it's really been challenged before. I don't think until recently, we've kind of said, we can play these golf courses. We've come out and said that, and I don't know if in the past that that's really been challenged. I think Pinehurst showed a lot of people that we could play some golf. I think it proved to us, too, that we can play just like the guys can, too. So it's just really kind of challenging what's always been done. I'm one that I don't like to settle. I think we can always get better at everything. Kraig knows that; he gets random text messages from me all the time. But that's the same thing. We can always get better. We can always do a tournament better. We can always get on better golf courses. I think, too, being on NBC network coverage on the weekend, I think more golf courses are going to want to have it because they are going to want to show their golf course off to the world.

Q. Regarding majors, is it more disappointing to have come close and won in a regular tournament, just because you've had a number of Top 10s but many players don't get a shot to win. Is it hard to shake off a tough loss?
STACY LEWIS: The one I guess we are talking about is ANA. I really actually proved on from that pretty quick, because in my mind in that second playoff hole, I made that putt. I don't need to watch a replay. I don't need to see it. I see it in my head and I saw the ball going in the hole. You know, it was what it was. It just wasn't meant to be that day. So actually it was pretty easy for me to move on. And getting a little older, you see the bigger picture and getting in contention is a good thing, and that's what I'm going to try to do again this week.

Q. We've had a bunch of really good rookies this year that are ready to win right now, which is very unusual. And what seems to be happening is in 14 weeks, I think we've had 12 different winners this year. I'm wondering if you think that might actually be hurting the Tour because if the past has told us anything, people tuned in to watch Nancy Lopez when she was winning four in a row and Annika when she was dominating; Tiger Woods, of course, is a great example. Do you think so many different winners every week could actually hurt the Tour?
STACY LEWIS: I don't think so at all. I think the different winners is showing how much depth we have on this tour now. You know, for a long time, when I first came on Tour, it felt like maybe 20 people could win every week and now you're up to maybe 40 or 50, have a legitimate shot at winning. I think that's a great thing. I think the quality of golf is getting better. The quality of players from top to bottom is so much better. The girls are coming out so young and being competitive. It's amazing to be 17, 18 years old and they are fearless. They see their name on the leaderboard and it's just the normal thing for them. It's amazing what they are doing, and I think it's great and it's pushing us all to get better. The quality of golf is so much better now. So I think it's a good thing.

Q. You mentioned earlier that you have a very busy week outside the ropes. You have been the unofficial host in Arkansas and Texas and you played pretty well in those events. How do you compartmentalize the outside the ropes within those events and how has this week been different?
STACY LEWIS: I've learned from each of those events over the past couple years, and it's really -- you know, I make sure I allow my time for practice. I said no to a few things this morning because of how busy my afternoon is and made sure I set aside my time for practice because that's most important. And when I'm there, I'm inside the ropes. I'm not answering questions or doing anything else. You are where you are; just be where you are is the biggest thing. I've done it before. I was all over the place at ShopRite last year and still won a tournament. It definitely can be done. It's just being where you are in that moment.

THE MODERATOR: And you wanted to wrap up in exactly 29 minutes and 59 seconds and we've nailed it. Good luck this week and thanks for being here.
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