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October 18, 2015

Lexi Thompson

Incheon, South Korea

LEXI THOMPSON: I didn't really know what was going on, I was just trying to shoot as low as I could out there. I played aggressive the whole week and I just tried to stay in that mind-set.

MODERATOR: I know that when you come to Asia, there are many challenges: The long flight over, getting your body ready to compete, and you've dealt with some other things this week. Early in the week, you were very sick, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. How did you overcome that?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I've gotten used to the time change being in Malaysia last week, so it wasn't as hard. But getting sick earlier in the week this week, it was tough. I was throwing up a lot and I just didn't have any energy when I got here.

You know, I went out. I didn't really expect much. I was a little tired but as the week went on, I got better, taking Emergen-C and taking a bunch of medicine.

MODERATOR: This is not your first win in Asia. But when you see crowds like that out there, what is it like to compete here in Korea with crowds like this and a great field like this; what was that like for you this week?

LEXI THOMPSON: It was incredible. I always look forward to coming back here to Korea. But to Asia in general, golf is huge over here. It's great to see the big crowds and to hear them cheering on everybody in between shots or in between holes.

Even if you're playing bad, they are always there to lift you up. That's what we want. We play for our fans. We play for our sponsors. To have them out there, that many people just cheering me on, it helped me out to get through the week and get the win for sure.

MODERATOR: Couple more questions from me and then we'll take some.

A question about the crowds here and galleries in Korea. Can you expect -- with all due respect to the fans in America, what the difference is in playing here? You just said it's huge; it's different. How is it different? How is it special to be here and play?

LEXI THOMPSON: I would say this is more of like kind of a major feel coming over here with how big the crowds are and how the golf courses are set up, the grandstands. Just the whole feel of it; this is like a major championship over here for our Asia Swing.

So it's an amazing feeling to play this big of a field for a tournament and just to play in front of that many people. That's what we love, to play in front of that many people and hear all those cheers.

MODERATOR: Just a few moments ago in the ceremony, the chairman said to me, he was so happy that you were able to win this tournament. He's a big fan of Lexi Thompson. We know what the fans think of you around the world: You're one of the most popular players in women's golf.

This is your sixth win. This is not your first in Asia; this is your second. You've got a major championship. How do you feel about your career at this point? How do you look at you?

LEXI THOMPSON: Well, sometimes I have to realize how much I've accomplished and sometimes I have to let it hit me and absorb.

This has been a dream come true obviously, just turning professional and playing against the best in the world. But to get the wins that I have and to get the major championship under my belt, it was a dream come true.

And every win is an unbelievable feeling. Just to have all the hard work pay off, it means a lot to any athlete just to know that the hard work pays off and dedication, the sweat, the pain, the ups and downs; it's well worth everything.

Q. Not looking at boards; is that new, and if it is, what prompted to you do that today?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I usually don't try to look at the leaderboards. I went into the mind-set of just trying to control on my game and not focus on anybody else. Try to shoot as low as I could, and if I didn't win, I did my best; that's all I can do. And if I did, great.

So it is something that I kind of do. But I think it helps that the leaderboards didn't necessarily show the top players at all times.

Q. We talked yesterday about your ball striking and comparing it to how you hit it when you won at the ANA. I'm wondering if you have re-assessed that at all; do you think you're hitting it as well or better now than you were then?
LEXI THOMPSON: I think overall, my game is very similar to how it was at the ANA Inspiration. I think I probably putted better at ANA. But I mean, still, my game is definitely coming together like it was there. Just overall consistency, but that's what I've been working on, just trying to get it all to come together for me.

Q. Can you walk us through the flop shot at 15? You really took a cut at that, and with it running away; how difficult was that shot, and how confident were you in pulling it off?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, when I went for that green and I saw my ball bounce over, I'm like, probably not going to be the best chip shot, or the easiest, for that matter. But I love hitting flop shots out of the rough. I just opened the blade wide open and just took a big swing at it. I figured, at worst, it would run through the fringe but have a straight uphill putt. But it came off pretty well, landed where I wanted it to. It was kind of an impossible chip if it didn't hit the hole.

Q. So I notice that when you putt, you leave your glove on. But a lot of people, they think that they have to take gloves off to really get a feel for the putt and read the putt line. Have you ever tried putting with your gloves off, or is there a particular reason you choose to keep your gloves on?
LEXI THOMPSON: I have tried putting with my glove off. Just hasn't really worked too well for me. You know, there actually is a few people that did it. Jack Nicklaus putted with a glove on. Shanshan Feng putts with a glove on. So I'm not the only one. It's just more of a comfort thing. I've done it since I was a little kid, and you know, I feel more comfortable leaving it on.

Q. So in terms of your driving distance, I don't think you're at an age where your driving distance would naturally get shorter, but I notice that several years ago, your driving distance is becoming a little shorter. Is that intentional or is that something that you're not really looking into?
LEXI THOMPSON: Definitely not intentional. I would say probably just not hitting the best drives on the driving distance holes or maybe missing a fairway. I mean, I missed the fairway on 10 today and I hit it 230; and then hit the fairway on 18 and hit it 290. So it's all a matter of straight.

Q. I understand that you have two brothers and they are all pro golfers, as well. What's the ranking between you three?
LEXI THOMPSON: Oh, the ranking. I'm just going to say that who probably wins the most is my middle brother, Curtis. He shoots some crazy low numbers, so he definitely comes out on top most of the time, once we all finish, if not one of us quits before.

Q. So you were able to see several KLPGA players on the field during this championship. Was there anyone in particular who really stuck out and left an impression and who would that be and why?
LEXI THOMPSON: You're going to have to help me out with names. Well, Ingee I played with the last three days, and she was an amazing player and very impressed with her overall game and consistency.

And I played with Sung Hyun Park and she shot 10-under, so that was obviously very impressive to watch. Long hitter and overall her game is just very, very consistent, very strong, every part of it.

So both those two players, I was impressed with, with the length and consistency.

MODERATOR: Back to your game and the flop shot story that you were tell. When we were standing there, we were joking around about it a little bit. But if you go back four years to when you were first basically out on the LPGA to now, on the top of the creativity -- I heard Benji give you 191 yards and he was working on a lay-up shot for you at 18 and you said: Forget that, I'm going to hit it into the bunker because I want to hit it up on the green and watch it trickle down to the hole.

Is that true, first of all?

LEXI THOMPSON: That's very true.

MODERATOR: And could you talk about how your game has evolved in that you want to hit those shots?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I've overall learned a lot more about myself and my game since I've been out here. Just the experiences going through the up-and-downs, and failing at shots but then succeeding at them and learning what I did wrong.

Yeah, I'm overall a very aggressive player. So if I have 190 front, I am not laying up (laughing). But it's good to play aggressive and know that I can get up-and-down where I'd rather have a chip shot, rather than a shot into the green over water.

MODERATOR: But you knew where you were on the leaderboard at that point, right?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I did. I mean, I figured if I just hit an iron left, I'll have the bunker shot. I mean, I'm not going to hit it right, so I was going to make sure of that. I knew I had a better chance of making birdie from that back bunker.

Q. So with this win, your World Ranking is likely to be fourth, we believe, and I know that it's a bit early to talk about the Olympics with the Olympics having nine months left, but you're kind of on an upward momentum and if it streak continues, it seems likely that you'll be on the Olympic Team with Stacy Lewis and other players. In the Olympics, Korea, Taiwan and other teams will fight for one Gold Medal. I know it's a bit early but if you could make any predictions about the Olympics?
LEXI THOMPSON: I can't really make any predictions on that. I'm just hoping that I get to be on the U.S. Team. There's no higher honor than playing for your country; put red, white and blue on, there's nothing like it. Any time I have a team event in that year, that's my No. 1 goal is to be in that tournament, be on the team.

But yeah, there's nothing like being able to say that you are an Olympian. If I did reach that goal, be able to play there, I'm just going to go out there, fight for my country and just try to play my best.

Q. So I think this will be one of the last questions, so I'm going to keep it light. I understand because of the swimming pool, you couldn't have any beef dish; and now that you've won and you're probably feeling much better, are you planning to have a prime beef party?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I actually have an 8:00 flight. So if they are serving on the airplane maybe. But it is very good, I know that.

MODERATOR: Last question and we'll let you go. You're the first American to win this championship in history. What does that mean to you -- 14 years, so you talk about the red, white and blue and importance of World Ranking and all that. What does that mean to you winning this championship today?

LEXI THOMPSON: I actually didn't know that, so that is quite an honor. You know, every time I tee it up, I'm not only playing for myself. I am playing for my country, even if it is in a team event. I love being an American and representing the USA. It is quite the honor to win here in Korea to be the first American.

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