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November 18, 2015

Lexi Thompson

Naples, Florida

THE MODERATOR: Good morning, everybody. Thank you for coming here to the CME Group TOUR Championship. We'll get this Wednesday kicked off with Lexi Thompson. Thanks for coming in, Rolex Rankings No.4, you're fifth in the globe. This is a huge week for everybody. You're one of the players with a pretty decent chance at that $1 million prize. I'm sure you have the goal of finishing off strong, but what's your main goal this week to finish off the 2015 season?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I mean, I think we all come into this week wanting to win. That's always my number one goal going into every week. But you know, I'm just going to take it one shot at a time out there, hope for good weather conditions out there, but you know, stay in the moment, focus on doing my routine on every shot and not get ahead of myself and think about the big picture, just stay in the moment.
THE MODERATOR: Now, this is your fourth season on Tour. It feels like you've obviously been around for a little while, one of your best seasons statistically, first in greens in regulation, a lot of your stats have been up. How would you grade this season for you, two victories, obviously a lot of top 10s. How would you grade the year overall?
LEXI THOMPSON: I would say this has probably been my best year of my career yet, just with overall the consistency of it. Even if I didn't have the wins and just played consistent, had more top 10s, I mean, I would be very happy with it. Coming into the year, my goal was just to play consistent golf. I worked on my short game a lot in the off‑season, and that came around, and overall this year I've stayed very positive on the golf course, so I'm very happy with that.

Q. You talked about improving your game and working on your short game. Can you tell us how you have addressed that and how important that was maybe to improve that?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, well, I think golf always comes down to short game, especially putting. I've had my bad putting tournaments and the ups and downs, but I'm going to keep on working on it. I worked really hard in this last off‑season, and I'm going to work even harder this off‑season on my short game, because I mean, I'm happy with my ball‑striking. Obviously I want to keep it consistent, straight, but I think it all comes down to short game, especially coming down the stretch, because you're not always going to ball strike it well every day.
But yeah, I think it's been a lot better this year, so I'm going to try to keep on improving.

Q. Just a follow‑up to that, I believe you're still 4 in the world, right? So you're right there. When you look at the players who have been No.1, is that what you think it will take to get into that mix for No.1 is that part of the game? What are you evaluating getting you there into the race for No.1?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I do believe that if my short game improves more that that'll get me towards the top even more. But I have three spectacular players in front of me, and it's going to be tough to catch them, but I'm just going to take one tournament at a time. I definitely need to win a few more times to get up there, but I'm just going to take it one shot at a time. I have my own small goals that I want to accomplish and improving my short game even more is definitely one of my top goals this off‑season.

Q. Having won at 16 and several other times as a teenager, you've had a front row seat at this crop of young players doing so well this year. What's your take on this trend?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I think so. The game is getting younger and younger, with Lydia Ko, Sei Young Kim, Brooke Henderson, Charley Hull, I mean, there's so many young girls out here. I think it's great to see‑‑ I'm only 20, but it seems like I'm kind of a veteran out here now. It's great to see that women's golf is growing, and I think seeing Sei Young Kim or Lydia Ko play so well out here, I think it's making young girls realize that it is possible to accomplish those goals. If you put in the hard work and you dedicate yourself to accomplishing the goals that you want that it is possible.

Q. There's so much talk about Lydia and Inbee and Stacy, and this year it's a little more focus on the big two, Lydia and Inbee. I know you mentioned the improved short game, but big picture how important is it to you to become part of that group, so become part of the big two, big three, big four? Do you think about that at all?
LEXI THOMPSON: I can't say I really think about that, but with golf, you just really‑‑ it's kind of selfish, but you kind of have to just worry about yourself and not worry about all the other players because then if you get caught up thinking about ranking or other players that are ahead of you that you're trying to beat, it'll just get to you and you won't play what you're capable of, so you have to go out there, just try and do your best, just focus on the positive things that you're doing well and just keep on trying to do better and improve on yourself and your game, and then you'll see the results that you wanted to.

Q. Given that you've been doing this for a while now, is there anything that you've learned to do, whether it's in the gym or pacing yourself in practice to kind of safeguard your longevity so you're not getting injured?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I would definitely say just some things I've learned is just playing in the tournaments that I really enjoy playing, the golf courses I enjoy playing at but not really tiring myself out, especially in the beginning of the year, playing four or five‑week stretches. I usually don't play more than three weeks in a row. I know that might change next year. But you know, I've definitely learned along the way, and in the gym, I don't work out as much on the road just so I don't get too tired out or sore during my tournaments, so I've definitely learned that because I came out here and I was working out hard and I was tired some of the days.
It's a learning experience. Every day out here is.

Q. You said you're having your best year on the golf course. Are you better than ever at golf?
LEXI THOMPSON: I would like to think so. I put in a lot of time at the gym these last two years, just trying to improve on things on my body and just trying to feel good out on the golf course, make sure I get through my days a lot easier, making sure I get in my cardio and focus on core strength. That's extremely important with the golf swing and balance exercises. I have my own fitness goals for this off‑season, too, so it's going to be a fun few months for me, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. What are some of those goals?
LEXI THOMPSON: I would just say getting stronger. You know, improving core strength, that's my number one goal, I think, and flexibility and probably lower body, growing lower body strength‑wise.

Q. This is going back to the putting. You said you worked very hard to improve it. How much do you think putting is an innate thing maybe more so than ball‑striking, that you're either born as a great putter or not? Is there any truth to that?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, kind of, yeah. I mean, if you're not a very good putter, if you put in the hard work‑‑ putting is all about confidence, visualizing your putts, seeing it go in the hole, and the speed that you want, the roll that you want to have on the golf ball, I think that's all visualization and feel. People are definitely more born with that than others, but I believe if you practice hard enough and put in the work on the greens, you can improve on it tremendously.

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