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July 13, 2016

Stacy Lewis

Toledo, Ohio

THE MODERATOR: It's my pleasure to welcome in now Stacy Lewis, Toledo native. We always say that coming back, adopted daughter here in Toledo. Huge fan base. How does it feel to be back at this event? Obviously a lot of history here, a lot of connections, but start us off with how it feels to be back here in Toledo.

STACY LEWIS: Well, it's always great. I saw a few of my family members today. I just got into town kind of late yesterday, so things have been a little crazy these last couple weeks, been really busy. I'm just trying to get caught up on sleep and resting my energy for this week and for next week and the week after that. There's just a lot going on, and just trying to take it one day at a time.

THE MODERATOR: So today's day, Urban Meyer in your pro-am group. Pretty chaotic, a lot of fans. Probably the biggest following you've ever had in a pro-am?

STACY LEWIS: Yes, definitely.

THE MODERATOR: You've never seen helmets being toted around on a golf course?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I saw a guy carrying three football helmets around.

THE MODERATOR: That's Buckeye Nation for you. I'm sure you won't read the newspaper tomorrow, but give us a dissection of his game. How good was he, and how good was it to play with him?

STACY LEWIS: His game is pretty good. He actually started out pretty good, and I think we all got a little tired because we were out there for so long, but he made a couple putts there at the end. He was awesome, though, just great with all the people, made sure he went up and found every kid and signed everything for all the kids. The coolest part I thought was every kid he asked what their name was and personalized everything and took time to do it. He didn't have to do that.

He didn't have to come today. He was supposed to come last year and had to go to the ESPYs, and he actually contacted the tournament and said, I want to come back.

So I think that's pretty cool. He said he wants to do it again, so maybe we'll get him back here again.

THE MODERATOR: Now, this whole year, this whole season, playing solid. You said things are starting to come together coming after of two back-to-back top 10s. Is this the culmination of things really starting to come together at this point in the season?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it's a good timing for it. I'd say the last -- prior to probably the last two or three weeks, the last couple months have been just trying to get my golf swing in check, and then now I'm starting to trust it more, and that's what you're seeing in the scores is a little bit more trust and believing in it and not having to think about your golf swing so much, just playing golf. It's definitely getting closer to where I want it to be.

Last week was a big step for me. That was a hard golf course we played, and I hit some great shots, especially on Sunday, and just didn't quite get the putts to go. But things are falling in order, and just not having to work so hard at it is nice when we keep getting busier and busier every week.

THE MODERATOR: A little bit different relationship here this week with Marathon, sponsor right on the front of your shirt. Tell us about the relationship there, how long you've been together with them, you're the face of their commercials and ads. Tell us about that relationship at this point.

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I've been with Marathon now for a few years, and they've continued to grow with this tournament, and you can see kind of by what they're doing on the golf course. There's been more stands every year, just more things going on.

For me it's been pretty cool to see the way that the company has kind of embraced the LPGA. They love this week. They love everything about it, and they want to get record crowds here on Sunday. That's what Gary was talking about. It's also his goal to get the Solheim Cup at Inverness here. They're working really hard on it, and proud to be a part of it and glad I could start the introduction.

Q. Stacy, I know you're preparing for the Olympics coming up. Pretty big deal representing your country, but we've seen a lot about the threat of Zika virus. Why are you still planning to go to Rio, first of all?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I started to see -- I wasn't really thinking about not going until all the guys started pulling out. So I started talking to doctors and different medical professionals and security experts, and I talked to a lot of different people, and basically went into the conversation saying, thinking in my head, okay, give me a reason why I shouldn't go, and none of those people ever gave me a reason why I should not go.

I want to be a part of the Olympics. I think the Olympics are bigger than any golf tournament on the planet. It's bigger than the Masters. It's bigger than the U.S. Open. It's bigger than the Women's Open. It's the biggest thing out there, and I want to be a part of that. I want to be around the other athletes and see what makes them great and go cheer on the other U.S. Olympic athletes. It's such an honor that if I couldn't go, I would be pretty devastated.

Q. Are you making preparations for the threat?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, we're all getting shots and doing all that stuff, but as far as the Zika, I'm getting the bug sprays and the different things you can put on your clothing or put -- attach stuff to the golf bag. I'm going to do whatever I can, but right now Zika is worse -- there's more cases of Zika in Florida than there is in Rio. I really think it's been a little bit overblown. I can't wait to get there. I'm really excited.

Q. Is it surprising it's been a while since you've won?
STACY LEWIS: Not really. I mean, is it disappointing, yeah. I mean, yeah, I wish I would have won by then, but I played some really good golf between now and then. It's not like I haven't played well. I've played good.

To win requires some things to kind of go your way at the end. I've had a bunch of second-place finishes, and some have been my fault and some have not been my fault. That's just the way golf is. And I'm okay with that. I feel like through this whole stretch of a couple years, I've learned a lot and come to accept finishing second and third, and if you want to win tournaments, you have to be okay with finishing second and third. If you can't handle that, you're not going to win.

So I think I've kind of mellowed on that a little bit, and I think I'm getting closer.

Q. (Question on pace of play.)
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, pace of play is an issue on our Tour. I actually had a couple groups last week at the U.S. Open where my group got put on the clock, and it was not because of me. I mean, it was -- I hate slow play. One, because I don't think fans are there to watch that. They're not there to watch us take five and a half hours to play golf. It's just not fun. It's not fun for me.

I think what the slower players don't realize is I think it's a little bit disrespectful to the people you play with, and it's a problem. It's something that needs to be addressed. Our pro-am today took five and a half hours, which I just don't understand. It's a scramble.

You know, I don't know what the solution is because right now the way all the rules and the timing and all that stuff works out, it always ends up hurting the faster players and not the slower players, so I don't know what the solution is.

Q. Do you think slow players play better when they speed up?
STACY LEWIS: I agree, yeah. I think when I've seen slower players, they usually do play better when they get moving. You know, and I don't know if it's awareness or what it is. I've always said that people need to have to watch video of themselves playing because I think if you saw that, sometimes you'd realize how much time people are taking.

Q. Why do you think the men are withdrawing from Rio and not the women?
STACY LEWIS: Well, they're all saying the Zika virus, but kind of the more they have spoken about it, the more I think we're seeing that it's not really the Zika virus. I kind of talked about it last week at the U.S. Open, and I said that, you know, if we had a tournament at the end of the year where we could win $10 million, I would probably change my schedule a little bit, too, making sure I was a little bit more fresh and ready to go.

I think when you play for as much money as those guys do, you become a product of that environment. Your schedule revolves around the big tournaments, around the big purses, and that's kind of what you get caught up in, so when you have another event thrown in there, it kind of messes up your preparation and the way you get ready for tournaments, and so you become a product of that environment, and that's what I think it is.

You know, our Tour I think did a great job of making our schedule. While it's hard right now, we don't have any tournaments the week of the Olympics, and to me what that shows is that our commissioner and our Tour says the Olympics is a priority, so we're going to make this so our players don't have to choose between their status. They can go play the Olympics and then come worry about their card later. PGA TOUR didn't do that.

From a player's perspective, I think, well, maybe the TOUR doesn't think the Olympics is that important. I think there's a lot of factors, and it's really disappointing because their decision, it affects us. It affects women's golf staying in the Olympics, and it's just really disappointing.

THE MODERATOR: On the flipside, how proud are you of the women's contingent and how cool is it to see that almost every single person is all in, and how cool will that competition be knowing that the world's best and all the rankings will be there?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I wasn't surprised to see that all the women were going to stay committed and were going to play. It's kind of what we do. We have an opportunity to represent our country, whether it's in Toledo, Ohio, or at the Olympics or at the U.S. Open, you're there to do it. You know, I'm not surprised by it at all. It's such an honor. We have a bunch of players that were probably more disappointed that they didn't make the Olympics. I know Karrie Webb is devastated that she didn't make the Olympics. Candy Hannemann was trying to make it for Brazil. So to see how upset they are by it and then how kind of nonchalant the guys have been about it is -- it's really hard -- to me I just don't understand it. But I am super pumped and I cannot wait to be there.

Q. Talk about this golf course.
STACY LEWIS: Well, this golf course is tricky. Driving it straight is always a premium, and then putting the greens well, that's something that kind of has gotten me over the years. I'm probably not putting as well as I would like. I'm going to do some work on that this afternoon. Ultimately you've got to make some birdies here. This golf course, the rough is down a little bit this year, so I think scores will be pretty low.

Q. What was it like to play in the power pro-am with Urban, Gary, and the rest of your group?
STACY LEWIS: It was awesome. Urban was fantastic to play with. My caddie, Travis, is a huge Buckeye fan, so he was pretty pumped. But just kind of got to just talk with him a lot. We talked about different things in his career and family, and I got a bunch of changes going on in my life, and so just to have some commonality there and some things to talk about was really cool.

You see that he's just a normal guy and ultimately wants to spend time with his kids. He loves to coach, but he loves his family more. He was awesome, though.

Q. Did he ask you for any pointers?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, he did. We talked about the golf swing a little bit. He worked it out towards the end. He started hitting good shots.

Q. (Question about UL International Crown.)
STACY LEWIS: Well, for the four-ball, it's just a birdie-fest. You've got to go out there and make as many birdies as you can. We're pretty fortunate with our team that we have a couple -- I'm not going to say names, but I think this is where pairings will work out. We had two pretty successful pairings at Solheim Cup, so I'm assuming -- we haven't really talked about it yet as a team, but I'm assuming that's what our pairings will be. We're all really comfortable with each other's games, but the four-ball format, you just never know. You can go out there and make nine or ten birdies as a team and lose. Just got to play aggressive, and it's a fun week next week. It's pretty relaxed, so it'll be a lot of fun.

Q. (Inaudible.)
STACY LEWIS: No, and we kind of talked about getting recognized at restaurants, and he said -- I kind of said, it just kind of bothers me when you're eating dinner and people interrupt your dinner, and he said, you know what really bothers me is when people yell, "Go Blue." You just can't say anything nice back to them. That was the one thing he said that bothers him.

Q. What was your biggest pointer about his swing?
STACY LEWIS: Just as he got to the longer -- he's pretty handsy on the takeaway, which is okay with a wedge and a shorter club, but as he got to the driver, just needed to get some whip in his golf swing. He hit a really good drive there on 16 and 17 at the end.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for coming in. Good luck this week.

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