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March 30, 2016
Rancho Mirage, California
KRAIG KANN: Good morning, everybody, welcome to the media center here at the ANA Inspiration. My name's Kraig Kann, and it is I true pleasure to have someone here that's been here before in the same role, the defending champion and two-time winner of this event, say hello to Brittany Lincicome.
Great to have you. You've been quite busy, and that's actually a good thing when it comes to this event. So let's start with what you've been doing in the lead-up. I know you had some media obligations. I saw you in Beverly Hills not all that long ago. That's got to be exciting for you.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's very exciting. Anytime you come back to a tournament and everyone's congratulating you or saying let's defend and get to jump in the pond again, all that great stuff, it's a dream come true to be standing up here with you and doing the press conference and being in this position.
KRAIG KANN: When you drove through here, people that go to the Masters talk about the drive down Magnolia Lane. How special is this drive in here and what does it do to perhaps bring those memories back to the forefront?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's super special. I mean, just being in Palm Springs, I think this area is just stunning and beautiful anyway. When you come into those gates, I'm not sure what the flowers are called on the drive in, but every time a come here I'm trying to convince my family to plant them in my yard for me. But I guess they're annuals and they'd be more work to replace them every year. So just to see the flowers and how beautiful they are, and to get on the golf course and play practice rounds the last couple days, the golf course is in the most perfect condition. It's still only Wednesday, so it will be great come this weekend.
KRAIG KANN: You don't plant your own flowers?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Not yet. It could be stress relief. I probably should try it.
KRAIG KANN: You're not one of the players, I think that deals with stress too often. You're playing with Lexi Thompson. That's a good thing, right, two long hitters? Or is that something that you focus on other things out there?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I was going to say it's going to be a very short hitting group. No, Lexi's awesome. She's a great friend and a wonderful competitor to play with. She'll be fun to chat to on the golf course which for me the more I chat the better I play. So that will be fun.
Yeah, the crowd will see some pretty long balls. I'm sure us trying to outdrive each other out there.
KRAIG KANN: Major championships, check, okay. Six wins on Tour, check. Seemingly loved by the media, check. How's your career in your mind at this point?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think it's phenomenal. When I turned pro at 18 I obviously had no clue if I was going to make it, if I was going to have to go back to Q-school, if I would have regretted my decision to turn pro. I should have gone to college. There were so many things that ran through my mind. So to be here today, this is my 12th year on the LPGA Tour and to have won six times, I mean, there are players out here who have never won before, so I feel extremely blessed to have won that many times and to win two majors is pretty incredible.
KRAIG KANN: Is there one thing that stands out thus far in your career that you would say I never thought I would truly accomplish this or if my career ended now I would hang my hat on this, put that up on my wall and walk past that and be happy the rest of my life?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: To be able to play in this event and jump in the pond twice, I didn't know that was ever possible. It's something I've dreamed of since I was little. I've played in this event many, many times and I've always dreamt of doing something like that. So to have gotten to do that, I think if I retired tomorrow, that would be one of my greatest accomplishments is winning this event.
Q. Have you been down to see the second plaque with your name on it yet?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I've taken pictures. I haven't tweeted it yet, but I've taken selfies with it, don't worry.
Q. Lexi was in here yesterday and said the course is in great shape, like you said. But the rough is up higher than she thinks she's seen it this early in the week, but she said she's still going to hit driver. Is that pretty much the way you're going to approach it?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Absolutely. Driver is my favorite club, and I would totally agree with her. I think Stephanie Meadow came earlier this week and I tweeted with her. Said how's the rough out there? She said it's really thick. So when I got here on Monday, it was very thick. It was very thick on Monday evening. So come Sunday, luckily we have volunteers out there to help us find our ball because it might be impossible to find the golf ball.
Q. Tell us about how you feel about the state of your game coming in here, and how did you feel about it a year ago? Are you in a similar place at all?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Each time that I've won it's never been like, wow, I'm playing really good or I'm playing really bad or anything like that. It's just golf, I guess, and it must just be my time every couple years or what have you. I just kind of show up and I win an event. But, yeah, I mean, I feel like I'm playing great. I played really well in Phoenix. Had a bad run on Sunday, and last week's golf course is so night-and-day different than this week, I can't even compare the two. But I felt like I hit it really well. I just had some putts that needed to fall.
So I feel like I'm playing really, really well coming into this week, but I obviously don't want to jinx myself or anything, but feeling really good.
KRAIG KANN: There is a lot at stake this week aside from a major championship. Yesterday we had an Olympics press conference, and I know that's probably on your mind. You know where the numbers need to be for you to get inside that top 15. You're currently 18th in the Rolex World Rankings.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Thanks. I don't want to know.
KRAIG KANN: You don't check leaderboards either. I just thought of that now that I've said that. So you are in the UL International Crown race, so what does that mean for you representing your country and I guess you don't look at the numbers to think about it, but it's still a great honor to be in the mix.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Absolutely. Going into this year with the UL International Crown and the Olympics, both are going to be very challenging to get into. Obviously the UL International Crown is a little easier because you don't have to be in the top 15 in the world. But to make either one of those teams or both of those teams would be incredible. Anytime you get to play in Solheim and wear the red, white and blue colors and you get to come together as a team, because golf is so individual, to get to wear the red, white and blue and the face paint and the hair ribbons and everything, it's a pretty cool feeling.
KRAIG KANN: China, Sweden, they're hanging in there with Australia. 15 points separating the three of them on the bubble for the International Crown. You don't have to worry about that because USA is in. But you have Alison Lee and Jessica Korda trying to knock you out. Do you think about that? Is that a big goal for you to play in that event in Chicago?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I would love to go play in that event, obviously. Just trying to take it one tournament at a time and see if we can't just keep playing well. Kind of let my clubs do the talking and hopefully that will be good enough when the UL International Crown rolls around. Hopefully I'll be one of those four women.
Q. We know you kind of tweaked your back earlier this year. Are you over that or at least 80% over that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's feeling much, much better. Last week was the first time where it wasn't even hurting just to bend over to putt which is a really strange feeling. You think the golf swing how aggressive I swing at it would be the hard part, but it was actually the putting and the bending to putt.
But this week is much better. I saw the physios. I've seen them every day for the last however many weeks since the Bahamas since it kind of started hurting. At home I've been seeing a physio and I've been doing some exercises and going to get treatment for 30 minutes every day, so it's feeling much, much better coming into this week which is a blessing, because it was going to be painful.
Q. There are only three people who have won this tournament more than you. Do you ever -- all three of them are in the Hall of Fame. Do you think about numbers like that? Do you think about your place in history or do you just think about Thursday morning, the first tee?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Thursday morning the first tee for sure. I've never in my career defended a title, so, obviously this would be a good chance to try to do that this week. But I think that would be a great accomplishment on my resume to do something like that. I don't really think about the numbers. Just to be in the mix with those same women and to getting to to the Past Champions dinner on Monday which was incredible and I'm so blessed that the ANA is keeping that tradition going. Just to come together with those wonderful women and to be in that room with so many wins and to be able to attend something like that I think is incredible. I don't think of the numbers, but it would be great to obviously win this event three times.
Q. When you go to a dinner like that and you give a really nice talk and you're very good at inspiring younger players to try to be like you, do you look at what's left in your career at this point? I know you're still very young and you've accomplished a lot. But do you think about legacy? If so, what is still there that's important for you?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I mean, I just want to leave the game better than when I arrived, I guess. Especially for the younger generation. You have Pat Bradley, Patty Sheehan, all these wonderful women, Kathy Whitworth that were at the dinner. They wanted to leave it better for people like myself and my generation, and I obviously want to leave it better for the seven young amateurs that are playing this week.
But, yeah, just that's probably what I would like people to think of me is just trying to leave it better.
Q. So wins aren't that important at this point?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I mean, they are, but I don't want to overthink it too much or stress about it. I've already been blessed to have won six times, so if I win another one, that's amazing. Obviously, I work hard and I want to win every week, but if I was to retire in a couple years and I didn't get another win, I think my career would still be amazing.
Q. This begins a six-month stretch where basically there are seven major events when you throw in the Olympics and the International Crown. Do you ever remember a stretch like this on the LPGA schedule? Just how important is it?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I don't, and it just shows how awesome Mike Whan is of getting us new events on the schedule and to have the opportunity to play that many weeks in a row and have that many events on the schedule is pretty incredible. Unfortunately, obviously, we can't play them all. We obviously play the majors.
But there are going to be a couple weeks where I'm going of it to take off. It's very frustrating, because I loved playing in so many different events and each event has something that it offers that I would really love to be at and attend, but obviously we're not going to be able to play that many. I like to play two or three weeks in a row and take a week off. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to miss some of the events this week, but it's a good problem to have, I think.
KRAIG KANN: Players want more events and then it's be careful what you ask for, right, because you have to find that time. A lot has been talked about and I read a great article from somebody sitting in this room where players were commenting about your ability to kind of mix success on the course and relaxation off the course.
I know you love fishing, and that gets talked about quite a bit. Do you find yourself fishing more now at this point in your career or wanting to fish more now at this point in your career? Where are you with that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I want to always fish more, but you can even ask my husband who is in the room, we haven't been fishing. I couldn't tell you the last time we went fishing. It's really depressing because people come up and say give me your best fish story, and I'm like I've got nothing for you. I had to come to media day the last time I was home, and I only had three or four days at home before I turned around and went to Phoenix. So I just need to manage my schedule a little bit better.
Q. Or not win.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Or not win. Yeah, fishing I can do in the off-season, I guess.
Q. Biggest fish you ever caught?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think it was close to 400 pounds. I obviously could not weigh it, couldn't take it out of the water, it was too big.
Q. You pulled it in yourself?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I might have had help. I felt like I was going to go over in the water.
Q. For those that don't know, the name of your boat is?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Taking Relief.
Q. Is that open to friends and family or is this something that you and the husband only? How's that going?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Are you trying to get on my boat?
Q. I'm not trying to get on your boat, but I'm curious about that. Because everybody who knows anybody that has a boat, they're the best friend.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: They are. That's what I hear. I couldn't find anybody that had a boat, so I had to go buy my own. No, it's open. We have one spot that we like to go to that's like 13 miles off shore and we catch a lot of sharks and a lot of those 400-pound fish, so if you want to catch something you can eat, I would not be the person to go with.
Q. You're also a die-hard sports fan. You've dropped pucks, thrown out pitches. What is your favorite other outside activity from getting away from all this?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Anything, really. We play a lot of tennis when we're home, just for exercise to run around a little bit. But baseball and hockey are my favorites, probably.
Q. You said you've never defended. Well, you are defending, but you've never successfully defended. What will it take from you this week? Do you feel like you've come in here ready to go with a game that's going to take on this golf course?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I mean, the way the scores have been, especially last week, 20-under par is ridiculous. Each week you think a couple under, it's a major, it's going to be tough. But it's incredible how talented the Tour is right now and how deep it goes. It's going tike a lot of birdies and not a lot of mistakes. If I can eliminate the mistakes and keep the big numbers out of there, I'll have a chance.
Q. How tough is it out here right now?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's tough. Not only is the golf course going to play extremely hard. Obviously the rough is really thick and I'm sure they're rolling the greens today and they'll be lightning speed. But with players like Lydia Ko and Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis and all these great players that are coming behind me here, it's incredible.
It's incredible to see how -- it used to be top 10 on the money list could win each list, but now it's 50, 100 on the money list that could win any week.
Q. Congratulations on being the defending champion. I know a lot goes into that, and best of luck to jump in the pond one more time.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports