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April 2, 2016

Lexi Thompson

Rancho Mirage, California

THE MODERATOR: Good evening, everyone. We'd like to welcome in our third round leader, Lexi Thompson. Lexi, what a way to finish that round, going 4-under in your final four holes, including that eagle on 18. How big was that for you to have that type of finish?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, that was definitely big to finish that well on the third day. I struggled a bit through my first 10 holes. I was hitting it well, just couldn't get the putts to drop. I was just putting a little timid and then hit a few good shots coming in, so I had a few short birdie putts, but to knock it in on 18 is always the most amazing feeling here at the ANA.

THE MODERATOR: Take me through 18. I know the tee was up today, so we saw a lot of players going for it. What was your strategy and your approach and when you were able to hit it that close on the second shot.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, the tee was up 45 yards, I believe, so I hit a good drive, so one shot at a time, just trying to get the drive in the fairway, first of all. So I hit a good drive. I had 207 to the pin, 192 to cover right at it, and a little downwind, so I hit a full 5-iron, and right at the middle of the green. It took that slope to the right there and went to about 15 feet, left-to-righter, and drained it. Always a great feeling there.

THE MODERATOR: We've been talking about your putter all week and the change. Going through the middle of the round it seemed like you had a little bit of a struggle with it on some shorter putts. How were you able to keep yourself mentally in it and make sure you didn't get down with that?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it was definitely a bit frustrating. I missed two shorter putts on my first nine, but I just tried to stay positive. I did get frustrated. I'm not going to lie. But I just tried to remind myself the putts I did make the last two days, and remember those strokes and getting that feeling, and basically telling myself to just put a more confident stroke on it, put some more speed on it. I was leaving them a little bit short today, so just try to be a little bit more aggressive.

Q. It appeared you had a nice talking to yourself after the three-putt on 8. How important was it to hit that recovery shot around the trees on 9 and walk away from there with a par in terms of calming yourself down and getting yourself ready for the back nine?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it was really important. I struggled on -- not really sure what happened there, but I actually hit the 3-wood really good on No. 9, it just overturned, and then I got lucky, I got a pretty open shot there to turn it around that one tree on No. 9 for the second shot and got down there to a lay-up. I hit a good pitch shot, just the putt was a bit slower than I thought it would be.

THE MODERATOR: You're no stranger to holding leads, but having a third-round lead, having an outright lead going into the final round of a major, with that eagle and sitting with that outright lead, how different would that be than sitting a couple back?

LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I don't really think it's too much different mentality-wise. I mean, I'm just trying to focus on my own game. That's all I can control is my attitude, my game on the golf course, and going into tomorrow I'm just going to have the same mindset, be positive, focus on doing my routine on every shot, take it slow, and just try to visualize my shots out there.

THE MODERATOR: You've won here before, so you know that experience of what it's like jumping into Poppies Pond. Does that help you going into tomorrow? Does it give you a little bit more confidence or make you maybe perhaps a bit more relaxed knowing what it takes to come through and win a major championship?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I do know what it takes to win on this golf course. I mean, I absolutely love this golf course. It's just a great setup, and just the tournament in general, there's so much history and tradition behind it, so it's always an honor to put your name on that trophy. But there's a lot of golf to be played, 18 holes tomorrow, and just got to focus on your own game and see where it goes.

THE MODERATOR: It's a really packed board and a lot of big-name players right behind you. How much do you pay attention to the leaderboard on a Sunday when it looks like that?

LEXI THOMPSON: I probably won't look at it once. I'll have my caddie look at it and inform me if it comes down the last few holes, if I need to do a certain something, if the tee is up on 18 I have to go for it, try to make eagle, circumstances like that. But yeah, I'm going to try not to focus on the leaderboards tomorrow and just play my own game.

Q. Lexi, majors are often about overcoming adversity, getting through it. You've spoken a lot about your sports psychologist John Denney this year. How much has your work with him maybe helped you to this moment, too?
LEXI THOMPSON: It's helped me out dramatically. I've worked with him since the beginning of last year, and I knew it was something I needed to work on. I was just getting too down on myself, and I needed to be more positive out there. It was holding me back, so I needed help, and honestly he's just helped me be more positive on and off the golf course and just realize that I'm blessed to be playing a game that I truly love for a living, and just be grateful for my family and my fans and my friends and just enjoy life.

Q. What will you do to try to relax tonight and tomorrow with such a late tee time?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I have a bunch of family here. I have my parents here. I have my godparents here. I have my manager here, so we rent a house, and we're going to barbecue tonight, probably watch a movie and just relax tomorrow morning, go out for a walk and do my stretching and just focus on the round, but have fun while doing it.

Q. Where is the house?
LEXI THOMPSON: It's a few minutes away, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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