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July 23, 2016

Lexi Thompson

Cristie Kerr

Gerina Piller

Stacy Lewis

Chicago, Illinois

KRAIG KANN: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome back to the media center here at the UL International Crown 2016. Team USA is here. Quite the day. Let's get some overall thoughts on the matches, and I'll let you start, Stacy and Gerina, with your match today.

STACY LEWIS: Gosh, we've had some hard matches the last three days. We played some great golf again, and Gerina was unbelievable. Just all the putts she was making to halve holes and to keep us in it, to keep us having a lead. There were times there we thought we could go 2- or 3-up, and Mika or Haru, they kept making putts on us.

It was an unbelievable day. We both played great again, and it's nice to be on the winning side this time.

GERINA PILLER: Yeah, we knew it was bound to happen, kind of like Stacy's putt on 16. It was just bound to happen, bound to go in. You know, we just didn't really talk about really anything the last three nights, but I just know that we were both playing well, and there was really nothing we could do to change or get better. I felt like just sticking to our game plan of just playing good golf, and we did that. It just feels good to come up on top, and like she said, those matches that we had were really tough.

KRAIG KANN: Super big day for you, as well, Cristie and Lexi. You guys probably couldn't have played much better unless you want to tell everybody otherwise. Talk about the importance of coming out there and really sending a message and making sure that you are into Sunday play.

CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, this was huge. We knew we had to take care of our match today, and we came out strong, won the first hole. We halved with birdies on the second hole, so they played very, very good, and we were just the definition of ham and egg today. When I wasn't there, she was there, and the same the other way, so we were able to just keep some steady momentum throughout the round. They had a strong comeback at the end there.

You know, it was tough to close it out on them.

KRAIG KANN: You never trailed in this match all day long today, Lexi. Obviously you guys not only secured two victories and you got it done before the horn blew so you can rest and relax and there's no stress, but I want to ask something that I didn't ask to them. No changes to the pairings all week. I mean, you guys have stuck to a game plan regardless of where you were in the pool. That seems to send a pretty strong message about the confidence level of all of you.

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I think we all work very well together in our pairings that we had, and that's what we wanted to stick with. The first day they just played better against us. We might have been a little off, me especially, but we stuck with our pairings, and we just tried to stay positive with it and go out and play aggressive. We knew we had to make birdies and just go for it.

Q. With this tournament here and with Chicago being such a big sports town, how does it feel to play in this great team event here in such a big sports town here in the Chicago area?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, we took part in that last night and went to the White Sox game, so we got a little taste of Chicago. But I think it's great that we're in this city. We're going to be here the next couple years with the KPMG tournament, as well. So it's a market that we did well in with Solheim Cup. I think it's a great place for us to be playing, and hopefully we can get playing here more consistently, not just big events and majors. Maybe get something a little more consistent.

We were talking about it in the car ride on the way home, just the number of cities that have multiple sports teams in the same sports, and Chicago is one of not very many in that aspect. It's a cool city, and we got to take part in it last night.

KRAIG KANN: Gerina, did you have to add U.S. Cellular Field to your list of stadiums?

STACY LEWIS: She threw out a first pitch there.

GERINA PILLER: I did. That's what I was going to say. 2009 I actually threw out the first pitch, and Mark Buehrle caught my ball. I think a couple nights later he had his perfect game. Not saying I was the reason, but maybe watched the form, or -- bringing the heat.

Q. Gerina and Stacy, your match just seemed to gain in intensity, and the intensity that you guys showed out there was very evident. What was the talk like out there between the two of you, and how in the world did you make so many putts coming down the stretch?
STACY LEWIS: I mean, the talk was like, wow, this is going to be hard, isn't it. That's kind of all it was. But I think we were on the par-5 8, we were on that green, and I saw the leaderboard go through and saw what England was doing, and we both -- I just kind of said to both the caddies, I said, well, that's going to help us out a lot. I think that kind of got me motivated knowing that if we took care of our matches we were good for tomorrow.

There really wasn't much talk. We kind of had a good turning point there. The putt Gerina made on 12 from the back fringe, I think that was the one that really kind of got the momentum going in our direction, and just let her go. I just got on the green and just let her make the putt. There wasn't really anything to talk about.

Q. Gerina, on 12, I was going to ask you about that putt. How nice was it to watch Stacy's one before you and have her leave it right in front of the cup? How good of a look did you get at that one?
GERINA PILLER: I obviously got a real good look. Our caddies kind of keep it light out there and were joking at the first tee on the first day, they asked, is this a scramble? I'm like, well, that would be kind of cool.

So we're walking up there, and they're like, you've got it, this is our scramble. Just to kind of see any time you get a free read is huge, and after she hit it, she told me what she put it at and where it ended up. Just went back with me and my caddie and picked a good spot, and I've just really been trying to pick spots that I know is going to make the putt and not just try to get it close.

You know, it's a lot of trust, trusting your line, trusting your stroke, and that's kind of all you can do, and the rest is out of your control.

Q. Stacy, it seems like the Americans and the Koreans, you're both heavily favored to win here, where the other teams are all -- it's almost as if they could maybe play more free spirited or whatever. The expectations aren't there. Do you sense that here? Is there more pressure on you guys to win?
STACY LEWIS: I don't think so. I mean, I just think with this format, you take a player that's 50 to 100 in the world, and they can go make seven or eight birdies in a round. They may not do it for four straight days and win a tournament, but they can do it for one day, and that's why this format, it opens it up for anybody to win. I don't think there's any team that going into it you can say that they're favored or not. I mean, maybe last year we went into it with a little bit of pressure thinking we had to perform, but I think at least what I've realized in the format is that it really opens it to anybody. I mean, I think we were -- what did I figure, 9- or 10-under on our combined score today, and we only won 2 & 1 against players that are -- they're not top 10 in the world, the rankings don't show it, but they're great players, and they can make seven or eight birdies and anything can happen. I mean, as we saw last year, anything can happen.

Q. Cristie, after the first day you guys were in the hole a little bit, backs against the wall because things happen quickly here, but just having all been together at the Solheim Cup where you dug yourself out of a really deep hole, do you think that helped you guys at all?
CRISTIE KERR: I think so. I think we actually play better with more pressure than less pressure. First day, you know, we're going out there trying to win, but when our backs are up against the wall, we seem to play better. Yeah, we're definitely not scared of that. Just going to go out and do our best tomorrow and try to win each match.

Q. Can you just talk about obviously today all of you had laser focus; you knew you needed points. The fan support of playing an international event like this here, did that give you a little extra, or does it push you to the finish just hearing those chants of U-S-A?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, I think the fans always help us out, getting us through our rounds, but the crowds have gotten bigger and bigger each and every day here, and that's what we want to see. Hearing the chants of go USA, walking up on to each and every green, that's what we want. I get chills every time I hear it, and I mean, I love seeing the fans out there. That's what makes the game so great, and that's why we play golf, for our fans.

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, they were especially good today. I thought we had more people today and they were ready to get us into Sunday, so it definitely helped us a lot.

Q. You know the course of Americans winning more tournaments; do you feel like this tournament, its unique format helps to highlight exactly what you're up against because we are seeing a lot of really strong play out of players that a lot of people might not really know?
STACY LEWIS: I mean, we already know this, and I guess it's showing the rest of the world and the people watching, it's showing how good these players are and what we are competing up against. We knew what we were getting into today, but you know, people just don't know their names. I mean, I don't know if it -- maybe it helps fans understand. I don't know.

GERINA PILLER: I think it's just for us, I think it's a compliment for us to have that scrutiny and to be under the microscope because it's expected of us. You know, it's not like we're playing a bunch of junior golfers out there and we should be winning by like 50 every time. You can't take anything away from our competitors, and they work just as hard as us and vice versa, and I think it's just one of those things from over the years, we're good golfers, and I think over the years the other countries have gotten more players and have gotten better.

Look at Korea, look what Se Ri Pak did for Korea. Now it's like -- it's really an even playing field, and it wasn't like a domination like maybe when we first started.

Q. What were the conditions like today in terms of the weather compared to the first two days, and did the course play a little longer because it was so humid out and so thick?
CRISTIE KERR: Have you ever seen the movie "Good Morning Vietnam", where Robin Williams goes off into the tangent where it's like, it's hot, it's sticky, it's hot. It was pretty much like that.

Q. Did it affect the way you played? Did it seem longer, the course, considering how thick it was out there?
CRISTIE KERR: Not really. I might have felt it after the couple glasses of wine I had last night a little bit more, but no.

KRAIG KANN: I want to ask one of the group here because we just had Team China in here and they were incredibly excited about just having qualified for the event. England said the same thing, bringing it up on their own, and then I asked them about the no-captain issue and the fact that they had to make decisions and not switching up pairings and what they were going to do. I'm wondering from you all because you've played in team competitions with captains in Solheim Cup; what is it like to not have one? Is that better almost for camaraderie and the bonding aspect of an event like this? I'm curious, I'd like to start with you, Cristie, because you've played more of those team competitions than the rest.

CRISTIE KERR: First what you don't know is we've been calling Juli on a conference call every night. Just kidding.

I think it's interesting, we are used to having a captain, and we're all kind of captains in this. It definitely feels different than Solheim. It's hard to replicate Solheim Cup and having that captain, because that captain is the person that you've grown up watching or admired or played with or has been a mentor to you in some ways. We're all playing for each other in this International Crown team, and as long as the lines of communication are open and we all talk to each other, which we do, we're all kind of captains, so it's definitely a different feel.

KRAIG KANN: Lexi, how do you enjoy the bonding aspect of this?

LEXI THOMPSON: Oh, I agree with Cristie 100 percent. It's definitely different than Solheim Cup not having a captain, and usually our mentors are people we look up to like Juli or Meg Mallon or Nancy Lopez or captains like that. It is different, but if we all communicate with each other and know how each other's games work and just talk it out, we can all make each other work. But it's definitely a different format, and having a captain is -- it helps out a lot, just the team bonding, but we're also close, so we work well together.

KRAIG KANN: Stacy, you can't hide when there's only four of you, so you've got to stick together; is that fair?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, for sure. I think in a way it kind of forces you to have some confidence in yourself, too. There's nobody else that can sub in and take your place. You've got to have confidence, and you have to go out there and play. The easiest part is there's not 12 of us. I think when there's 12 people on a team, you need a captain to kind of regulate a little bit, but with the four of us, I think it's fun to -- we can go to dinner every night with our caddies and family, whoever is around, and it's not an extremely -- it's not a huge group of people. But we've had so much fun this week. I think we've been busy every night.

But going to the game last night and taking our caddies down there, it's a week we get to kind of take care of them, too, and say thank you for what they do every week. We've had a blast so far.

KRAIG KANN: Congratulations on advancing to Sunday. We'll see you on the first tee.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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