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March 15, 2017

Lexi Thompson

Phoenix, Arizona

THE MODERATOR: We'll welcome Lexi Thompson into the Founder's Cup media center. Welcome. How are you feeling so far this week?

LEXI THOMPSON: I feel good. It's great to be back here at the Founder's Cup, and the course is in perfect shape for us. We have absolutely beautiful weather so far, so looking forward to getting the week started.

THE MODERATOR: Feel good to be back in the United States and ready to play a domestic swing?

LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it's definitely nice always to come back to the United States. Still trying to get my sleep schedule figured out coming from Asia, but it's always nice to play on home ground.

THE MODERATOR: Couple really good results already this year. You've been knocking on the door. I know you talked about your short game having improved a lot. Has that been the key? Just been like a combination of things?

LEXI THOMPSON: I would say definitely combination, but my putting has definitely helped me out a bunch in the last few tournaments. In the off season I worked on my ball striking trying to get it more consist. The last half of the year in 2016 I was hitting it very erratic and then not putting well, so I just struggled overall.

I'm hitting it a lot more consistent and just trying to have a nice good tempo swing, 70%, 80% . Then I changed a lot in my putting. Moved a lot closer and got my eye more over the line, and it's been helping me out a lot.

THE MODERATOR: Great. Questions?

Q. Your dad told me yesterday that you weren't really swinging 80% anymore. Are you back to full force?
LEXI THOMPSON: I actually got away from that over in Asia, in Singapore, and I struggled ball striking. That's where my putting was saving me.

I was like, Well, I don't really know how I was scoring too well, so now I'm back to 70%, 80% just trying to stay on the ground. Been hitting a lot more solid shots and I've actually gained three to five yards with my irons.

Q. Also, you have a new caddie.

Q. Talk about what you're looking for in a caddie. I know this guy is sort of a new guy that you just met.

Q. Getting to know a new guy, what that's like?
LEXI THOMPSON: The caddie/player relationship is very important. He's not only a caddie, he's your best friend. He's like your psychologist, he's your caddie, he's everything.

So something that I look for in a caddie is just a relationship, like a personality, somebody that keeps me relaxed out on the golf course. I'm obviously very serious out on the golf course, but when times get super intense or if I'm nervous, I want somebody there to just get my mind off golf and relax me and make me laugh.

That's obviously very important. But I don't carry a yardage book, so I need a caddie to do all my numbers for me and everything. There is a lot of trust in the caddie/player relationship.

Q. You talked about your putting and improving. When I saw you in Orlando earlier when you played in the Diamond Resorts Invitational, we noticed your eyes were much more over the golf ball.

Q. Is that something that's continued, that form of improvement? Is that still something you're doing? How is the transition to this? Easy for you?
LEXI THOMPSON: It definitely wasn't easy. I knew it was something that I needed to do, because I was standing really far away and taking it super far inside. Just the percentage of having it timed up and having that release correct it's pretty small, and I realize that.

I knew this off-season that's what I needed to work on and improve. I'm still a lot closer to the ball and my eyes are a lot more over the line to give me a little bit straighter back and not as much of a swinging door.

It's definitely helped me out a lot. I have my rough days with it, but it's all in confidence and trust with putting. It's something that I continue to work on.

Q. Just one more: You played in the Shark Shootout with the guys. How much did that help your confidence in terms of knowing where you stand in the great scheme of things in the golfing world?
LEXI THOMPSON: Oh, it helped me out a lot. Not only was that such an amazing experience playing with the guys and having it be a team format, that's something that all of us golfers enjoy because it's such an individual sport.

I would say that was one of my best ball striking weeks. I struck it very well. It was just hard to compare hitting long irons into those firm greens and not getting the birdie opportunities that I did for the CME that we had.

It was an amazing week and an eye opener. Hopefully get invited back again.

Q. Other than just the alignment of the ball, were there any other significant changes that you made to your putting stroke?
LEXI THOMPSON: To my putting stroke, not really. I mean, I changed putters obviously to a Bettinardi putter. Really just having the putter sit flat on the ground instead of having the toe so far up like my old putter.

That's just moving in closer and getting my eyes moreover the ball. Sometimes I've gotten to where it's too far over now, so I just got to be careful with that and have it to where I'm comfortable.

Q. What was your attitude going into the off-season about your putting? What were you telling yourself? Were you telling yourself, I'm going to just spend the whole off-season working on it? What were you thinking?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, I mean, I knew I had to work on my ball striking as well. That needed to improve going off 2016.

But putting was the main focus on my list. I knew I had to work on it, do drills, and then just switch up technically on what I was doing with my stroke.

That obviously wasn't working. It was very hot and cold. It's something that needed to change, and I think everybody knew that. I committed to myself to just putt for a few hours a day working on it and getting that confidence back and feeling good over the putter.

Q. Last putting question: Did you seek out anyone specific to talk about putting, or did you try to look at anyone in particular whose putting you admired?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, any girl out here basically. Anybody I get paired with, Lydia, Inbee. You watch them putt and it's pretty unbelievable to watch. Just the roll of the ball is always fascinating.

I didn't really seek anybody out. Just more of a mindset for me. I knew I needed to change. I was just too stubborn to change in the middle of the year last year or in between tournaments. It was very uncomfortable for me to move so much closer the ball than what I was.

I always felt like I was going to heel the putter -- heel the putt and it would go straight left. It's just something I needed to work on and improve.

Q. So did you ever carry a yardage book? How did you figure things out without a caddie?
LEXI THOMPSON: Well, no. Every caddie I used has always done my numbers and carried the yardage book. I've honestly never carried one. The only time was at Diamond Resorts.

Q. Why is that?
LEXI THOMPSON: Because my boyfriend caddied for me. He does, but he doesn't really know how to do numbers like to the front and everything that they do out here, so...

Q. Right. Couple players talked about Arnold Palmer and memories about him. With the Invitational this week, anything stick out in your mind when you think of him?
LEXI THOMPSON: Honestly, just the role model that he is to me as well as a lot of other players. He gave so much back to the game. But obviously the amazing player that he was. I got to meet him.

He's just a genuine person, somebody that we all look up to and want to be like when we get older and have people think of us the way they did about him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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