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February 28, 2017

Lexi Thompson

Republic of Singapore

MATT HAAS: Like to welcome everybody here to the 10th edition of the HSBC Women's Champions and we are happy to be joined in the media center by Lexi Thompson.

Lexi, coming off two Top-10s to start your season. What's been working so well for you?

LEXI THOMPSON: I would say I've worked extremely hard in the off-season on my short game, especially my putting. I definitely something that's come to help me in my last two events. I struggled a bit last week off the tee with my irons but I scrambled my way to a good score every day. But I made a lot of good putts, so definitely saved me out there.

MATT HAAS: And back here in Singapore, how does it feel to be back at the HSBC Champions?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it feels great. I always look forward to coming back to Singapore. It's such an amazing tournament, and a great golf course. Just played it today. It's in perfect shape for us.

So I always look forward to coming back here and playing in front of the fans.

MATT HAAS: What are your thoughts on the new golf course this year?

LEXI THOMPSON: Well, the golf course is great. The greens are a little firm. Just new greens, but they are rolling very true. The fairways are so tight, the tee boxes are, which I love them, but I can't take my big divots, though. The course is in amazing shape for us and it's a great layout. It will definitely be a test.

Q. Looking at the last performances being won by Asian golfers, do you see golfers in the States warming up this year?
LEXI THOMPSON: Brittany Lincicome won her first event; I don't think it took her long to warm up. The LPGA Tour is such a global sport, so it doesn't really matter where you're from. It's the amazing talent that you bring to the table, and I think that's what you see out here, it's such a global tour and doesn't really matter who wins. It's a matter of what you bring.

But it's been a lot of great golf being played in our first three events, so hopefully we'll get a lot more Americans winning this year. But we'll see. We're working hard, too.

Q. You said you were practicing your short game over the winter. Do you practice it with your brothers, and if so, do you go along with the view that men are marginally better at short game than women?
LEXI THOMPSON: I would probably disagree with that statement (laughs). I think the girls have amazing short girls out here. Some of the touch that I see from a lot of the players, it's pretty unbelievable.

But in the off-season, I would say I did a lot of my practice on my own. I mean, my dad was always there watching me, but my brothers kind of do their own thing; if they want to practice or play.

I spent two hours on the putting green basically every day in the off-season, and I knew it was something that I needed to work on just going off the last few years, and it's hopefully something that will show this year.

Q. So if you had a short game competition between the Top-10 men and the Top-10 women, who would win?

Q. If there were to be such a competition.
LEXI THOMPSON: Oh. I don't really know. I think it would be close. I think the guys might have a few more flop shots or trick shots up their sleeve, but I think the touch out on the LPGA Tour is unbelievable to watch.

Like Lydia Ko or Inbee Park, I've never seen somebody when it pitches in the same spot or know where they are going to land it and have it end up perfectly next to the hole.

Q. This is Inbee's second tournament after a long injury layoff. Looking at what she's achieved, what did you see from her last week that maybe suggests that she's going in the right direction?
LEXI THOMPSON: Inbee is a great player. I play with Inbee a lot. Such a solid player. Not really any weaknesses. She's sneaky long off the tee, but hits it straight every time. I haven't played with her in a while, obviously with the injury and everything, but everybody knows how good she is and how consistent she is. I think that's what I see the most. And she's an amazing putter. I love watching her putt because I know she's going to make everything.

Q. This is the first time you guys are playing on the New Tanjong. Does it sort of equalize the field; the fact that everybody is playing the course for the first time on Thursday?
LEXI THOMPSON: It definitely does, since nobody knows this golf course and has seen it, it's definitely fair this week.

We all get a first look at it yesterday or today, and it's definitely a fair field out there. We are all trying to learn the golf course in the few days that we have coming off Thailand. So it will be interesting. The course is in great shape, like I said, but the greens are firm, so it will definitely be a little tricky.

Q. You're one of the longest drivers on the LPGA Tour. Do you think that's a big asset for you here?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it definitely helps. I got to play the golf course and I hit a lot of drivers. It's pretty forgiving off the tee, so it definitely helped me get into like a little mid to short irons on a few of those holes that I need to to be able to stop them at a few of the pins if they tuck them. It will definitely be an advantage but I'm just going to try to hit it straight out there.

Q. You have played golf with Donald Trump. Could we get any comments on him at the golf course, and do you have any plans to play with him any time soon?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, Trump International is my home course there in West Palm Beach, so I'm always out there. The last few weekends he's been out there every weekend, so I've gotten to see him and I got to play with him the Saturday before I left for Thailand.

So I've gotten to play with him probably ten to 15 times, and he's a huge supporter for golf, especially women's golf in general but he's been a huge supporter of my family. You know, he's not a bad player. He's got a lot on his mind right now, so it's tough to judge on had you his game is at the moment. But he's always entertaining to play golf with now with a lot of the Secret Service members out there looking at us.

Q. You say that his mind may not be fully on the job at the moment, but what are his strengths?
LEXI THOMPSON: In his game?

Q. Trump's strengths at golf.
LEXI THOMPSON: Golf, yeah. Well, he hits it pretty straight off the tee. He probably doesn't carry it very far but he has a low ball flight and pretty straight and just rolls a mile off the tee. It's just entertaining to watch him. I wouldn't say I'm trying to learn his game and watch it (laughs) but it's just cool to actually be playing with a President, I guess.

Q. Does he stop to use his mobile phone all the time or is he concentrating on his golf?
LEXI THOMPSON: I would say the last few times I've played with him, his phone has rang two times, so not too much. I was expecting a lot more.

MATT HAAS: We appreciate your time, Lexi. Best of luck this week.

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