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July 7, 2015

Stacy Lewis


MIKE TROSTEL: Ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to welcome in Stacy Lewis to the media center. Stacy is playing in her 9th U.S. Open. Her best finish was a runner-up finish in the 2014 U.S. Open, a final round 66 gave her a second place finish behind Michelle Wie. What are some of your memories from Pinehurst last year, and being in the lead after the first round and coming oh, so close to the great finish on Sunday.

STACY LEWIS: I love Pinehurst. I loved the venue there, the setup, playing after the guys was a really cool and special week. Obviously started out well and finished really well. We had some drama there at the end, so I thought I was going to give Michelle Wie a run. All in all, it was just a really cool week.

MIKE TROSTEL: This course obviously a little different than Pinehurst, you have some rough. You've been here since Sunday. How does this course look to you? How do you think it suits your game, which the strength seems to be putting?

STACY LEWIS: Yes, it's very different from last year. The golf course is really soft with all the rain and there's a ton of grass on it, so the greens probably aren't as quick as we would like them. But it's still going to be a challenge. The rough is long. It's wet. It's sticky. I think off the tee and especially into some of the greens, you've got to be able to hit shots, hit some fades, hit some draws. I think it's going to favor more of a left-to-right shot overall, so I think that sets up for my game really well. And then putting, you know, at any U.S. Open you have to putt well. You have to make some 4- and 5-footers. And they're going to have a ton of break to them, but you've got to make them.

MIKE TROSTEL: In these major championships, you haven't finished outside of the top 16 in the last nine major championships. Is it something about the majors or playing 72 holes, the preparation, the mindset or the championships, themselves, that lends itself to your game?

STACY LEWIS: I didn't know that, so thanks for that your stat. I think I just like a hard test. I like when the golf course is playing its hardest, and that's when what we get at majors. It tests every aspect of your game. You can't just putt it well and get through the week or hit it well and get through the week, you've got to do everything well. I like the big stage. I like when we've got all the attention and we've got big crowds. I think I just embrace the challenge of majors and I think you play better when you do that.

MIKE TROSTEL: You've had an extremely consistent year, no wins, but five top-10 finishes.

STACY LEWIS: The game is good. You ask me that a month ago, I probably wouldn't have said that. The last few weeks I've made some really good progress with my golf swing. Getting the club in a better position at the top. Arkansas last week kind of opened things up and was able to just play golf instead of thinking about mechanics and things like that. So I really -- I like where my game is at. I like how my game sets up for this golf course.

Q. Is there going to be one particular part of your game that will be tested this week?
STACY LEWIS: You know, I think this golf course is going to test everything. I think the big thing is getting in the fairway. The fairways are pretty generous, but you still have to get it in the fairway. With a wet golf course, you have to -- if you're hitting out of the rough, it's going to make it harder because you can't run anything up. Hitting the fairways and then putting well. Putting well wins any golf tournament, let alone a major.

Q. Now that you've had a little chance to process what happened in Arkansas, would you do anything differently down the stretch and the way you handled playing 18?
STACY LEWIS: No, I would have made the putts on 16 and 17. So you can't go back and second-guess any decisions that you make. I just wish I would have made those two putts because if I'd have made those two putts, it probably changes the way I play 18. But looking back on it now, no. I didn't know that Na Yeon holed out, but I knew I needed to make eagle on 18, and I figured my best chance was holing out a wedge shot.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the reception that you've received here so far from the crowds and does that make you look forward even more to playing the tournament knowing the enthusiasm here has been building really for five some years?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I was shocked yesterday at the amount of people we had out for a Monday practice round. You get more at a U.S. Open, but for a Monday it was a lot more people than I've ever seen. You can tell, though, the way -- just going around the community to different places, the way they're embracing us, and they're excited about us being here, it's really cool. I think this type of town and this venue is a great place for us. We're coming, and we're the biggest thing that's coming in town this year, probably. So it's a great place for us to play.

Q. So many top 5 finishes lately, does it work on you mentally, and how do you battle the mental part of that?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it wears on you a little bit. But I want to be in contention, I want to give myself chances to win and doing that you're not going to win every time. That's just the way the cards fall. You're going to have somebody make eagle on you and do something like that. It's just kind of the way I play. I would rather be in contention, have top 5s, than miss cuts. It's just part of the game for me.

Q. When you look at Yani Tseng, what do you see? Obviously her game has gone from No. 1 to where she is now. Is it tough to watch? Do you sort of wonder as players how something like that happens?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it's -- for me it's been hard to watch because I played a lot of golf with her when she was in her run there 2011, 2012. It was -- I think it's the best golf I've ever seen played, that run she was on with winning all the majors. She can hit shots that nobody else can hit. She was making putts with confidence. And I think the golf swing is coming back. You can just tell the confidence isn't quite there, the belief that she can do it. And she's a great person, so I would like to see her get back playing the way she was. But I think right now it's just a confidence factor for her.

Q. Is it kind of a scary thought for top players that your game can go that high and then sort of just disappear?
STACY LEWIS: Well, it's just a bit of a wake-up call that it can happen to the best of us. It can happen to anybody. Kind of the same as Ai Miyazato last year. Same kind of deal. If anything, it makes you stay on top of your game to make sure that you don't get to that point either. But I know -- as a player and as a competitor, it's hard to watch because you know how good they are.

Q. Is there a hole that stands out to you so far as a favorite in your short exposure?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I like the last four holes. You play 14, come back to the clubhouse. And then I think a lot is going to happen in those last four. 15 is a pretty tough hole, and then I really like 16. It's a shorter hole, but I think -- I'm guessing the USGA might make that one drivable, make something happen there at the end. I think it would be a great hole to play up and make it drivable. 17 is a good par-3. And 18 is a monster of a finishing hole. I think those last four holes are going to provide a lot of drama.

Q. Specifically on No. 15, are you going to cut the corner on that or is that your game plan, that dog leg right going up the hill? And I know if you go down to the left, you're going to have a real long second shot.
STACY LEWIS: I think it's just kind of depending on the wind. Yesterday it was a little right-left, and so you kind of started out over the corner and then it came back. So it really just depends on the wind. I think you'll see some 3-woods out to the left. The only problem with that is that it leaves you a pretty long second shot in. I'll probably take driver. I think it sets up for a little bit of a fade, which I like to hit. So for me I think I'll probably hit driver there.

MIKE TROSTEL: With that, Stacy Lewis, 8:02 off the first tee on Thursday. Best of luck this week.

STACY LEWIS: Thank you.
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